ELLICOTT - A downed utility pole behind an abandoned former restaurant on Fairmount Avenue left a sour taste in the mouths of West Ellicott residents, business owners and anyone trying to drive on Fairmount Avenue or Hunt Road on Tuesday.
According to officials on the scene, workers were cutting down trees behind the abandoned Yum Yum's Restaurant on Fairmount Avenue when a tree fell on the lines, causing the utility pole to bend and drape the wires over the road. The area of Fairmount Avenue from Howard to Metcalf avenues were closed, with traffic sent to either Livingston Avenue or Hunt Road.
Sgt. Matthew Kubinski of the Ellicott Police Department said his department was working in conjuction with the New York State Police to divert traffic away from the area.
Workers with the Jamestown BPU and Celoron Fire Department responded to Fairmount Avenue Tuesday due to a tree falling on power lines, causing traffic to be diverted for several hours.
P-J photo by Andrew Carr
"The short story is a guy over there was cutting down a tree, which fell on the lines and knocked them down," he said.
The BPU responded to the scene along with the Celoron Fire Department. Christy Cuifolo, BPU customer service supervisor, said the utility sent crews out to the area immediately after receiving the call.
"Once we got the call we sent crews out there, and we got the notice at 3 p.m. that they were getting ready to make the repairs," she said.
Traffic was diverted from Fairmount Avenue onto Howard to Metcalf avenues, in order to avoid the area near the drooping power lines.
"The BPU is on scene working to get the power hooked back up," Kubinski said.
The utility pole was damaged and the live wires had to be reattached, Ms. Cuifolo said. She said electricity was out from Jackson Avenue to the city line, including the various side streets off of Fairmount Avenue, which represented about 775 customers.
The area affected by the downed lines and diverted traffic is mainly residential, however, several businesses are located within the new traffic pattern created by the situation.
Officials with the Sam's Club on Fairmount Avenue said they were unaffected by the diversion of traffic since they are located before the section where traffic was headed. They also said electricity was still on in the store as of 3 p.m.
Ed Bowman, manager of the Kwik Fill near Sam's Club, said his customer base had gone down drastically due to the new traffic pattern.
"Our business has definitely been cut in half," he said.
Bowman also expected his business to lose power when the pole was being replaced, which he also expected to affect customer traffic.
Torry Ormond, manager of Hollyloft Ski and Bike on Fairmount Avenue, said customers were able to get to his store, as traffic was diverted on Howard Street, which is before the store.
"They can still get to us, and we haven't been affected by the electricity," he said.
Ormond did say that when traffic was first diverted, a tractor-trailer attempted to turn around in the Salvation Army Thrift Store parking lot and ended up getting stuck on the curb for about 20 minutes, he said.