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Tree takes out power, phone, internet lines
tree fall
Crews worked several hours at the intersection of Durham and Mulberry streets on Friday after a large tree toppled and struck a utility pole on its way down. Utilities affected were McMinnville Electric System, Ben Lomand Connect, Charter and Frontier. A video is located on Southern Standard’s Facebook page. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

A large tree collapsed Friday on Durham Street, taking down a utility pole as it fell.

Located on the pole was an electricity transformer, a device that transfers electrical energy between two or more circuits.

“The tree broke an MES-owned pole, tore down a three-phase power line, and tore down Ben Lomand, Charter, and Frontier communication phone and internet lines,” said McMinnville Electric System general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd. 

Reports of “an exploding transformer” and a tree across the roadway came in around 11:15 a.m. McMinnville Police Department closed all three access points into the area as a crew from MES quickly worked to disconnect its power lines to make the area safe.

The 75-foot tree was located on an embankment across the street from the pole and the old Rockford Textiles building. Heavy rain and saturated ground were blamed initially as the reasons why it fell. Boyd added the tree was dead.

MES worked five hours and restored power to the two residential homes and two businesses affected by the downed lines. After that work was complete, McMinnville Public Works Department director Frank Southard sent a crew to cut the tree and remove it from the roadway.