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Semi hits power lines; causes fire, outage
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A transformer burns after a semi-truck struck power lines causing the pole to snap. - photo by ARAINA REAVES/Staff

   A semi truck driver pulled into the parking lot of an abandoned livestock auction barn on Stockyard Road Friday afternoon, snagging low-hanging power lines and snapping a utility pole. A portion of Statesboro was without power for about 30 minutes to an hour until repairs were made.
      Statesboro Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield said the power lines were apparently hanging lower than normal, and when the driver pulled through around 2 p.m., the wires snagged on the trailer. As the lines tightened, the truck kept rolling and snapped the pole in half, causing the transformer to fall onto the metal roof of the auction barn shed.
      The oil in the transformer leaked and caught fire, also burning some of the wood on the structure as well as some grass around the area, he said.
      Statesboro Police responded as well, while other officers directed traffic at intersections where traffic lights were rendered inoperable due to the power outage.
      Georgia Power Company employees arrived to see the downed power lines hanging from the 18-wheeler, and worked to disconnect the lines to restore power to the area. After the power was disconnected, firefighters extinguished the flames, Merrifield said.