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Truck Topples Norwalk Power Poles, Creates Outage

Following a tractor-trailer on First Street is relatively unusual. But shortly after Karl Pasiak turned into his driveway, something more spectacular happened. He heard an explosion. Then smoke "was drifting by like a fog" over Mill Pond.

Five telephone poles were down on Seaview Avenue. The tops of some of the poles were dangling in the air, suspended by the wires. Others had topped on the road. Wires were everywhere.

"I've never seen anything like this," said George Leary, general manager of the Third Taxing District for the past eight years. Leary said the 18-wheeler snagged a low hanging wire and pulled down the poles in a line.

A Norwalk officer said the truck was nowhere to be seen when police arrived. Power was out in the vicinity, which shocked Margaret Torre, a resident of Bethel Street for 55 years. "It never goes out," she said. "Never." Residents thought it would be days before the power was restored. Mary Smith, a resident of First Street for 47 years, was worried about her heat.

Guess again. Just a few hours later, taxing district crews restored power to most of the area's residents by rerouting the circuits. But residents of 100 Seaview Ave. , a five-story condominium building on the corner, have a longer haul. "It's going to be an unusually long time," Leary said.

Power also remained out at Harbor Lights, a restaurant, and the Norwalk Pastime Athletic and Social Club . Seaview Avenue has been closed as crews put up new poles.

Residents said their power had been out in the morning as well, as a crew worked to fix a wire on Seaview Avenue, in front of Pastime. A resident of the condominium said she had gone out to do errands and when she returned her neighbor said the power was back on. But that didn't last long.

The elderly woman was determined to stay in her dark and chilly condominium overnight, although she has family in Easton.

Pasiak, the resident who saw the tractor-trailer, said it was white with no markings. He had been following it from 12:30 to 1 p.m., and it was only doing about 20 mph. "All of a sudden you heard a loud explosion," he said. "A flame went up." He went to look, but the truck was gone.

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