About 2:30pm this afternoon, the boom on the back of a livestock feed transport trailer snagged several bundles of telecommunication wires while passing through the intersection of Northwest Drive and W Axton Road this afternoon. All roads leading into the intersection have been closed since until the wires can be cleared.
A utility pole on the northwest corner of the intersection broke in half from the stress of the truck and trailer driving away with the wire bundles attached. The wire bundles lay on the ground along Northwest Drive south of and into the intersection resulting in officials closing the roads in all directions to traffic.
City of Ferndale Public Works officials say they will be detouring eastbound W Axton Road traffic onto Barrett Road southbound to W Smith Road where drivers can resume heading eastbound. They estimated the closure could continue into the evening commute.
Ferndale School District advised that 3 Ferndale School Buses transporting students home from Cascadia Elementary School would be detoured around the area. “We want to let you know that students will arrive home approximately 30 minutes later than their usual time,” officials said in a notice posted to the District website. Affected buses are #6, #35 and #45.
Officials have not revealed whether low-hanging wires, a mechanical failure on the trailer or human error was the cause. A utility pole from the northwest corner of the intersection was broke in half and was laying in the intersection along with two thick bundles of wires.
Officials have also to indicate where the truck and trailer were coming from before ending up eastbound on W Axton road leaving the intersection.
According to emergency radio traffic, Puget Sound Energy was not aware of any outages in the immediate area leading officials to doubt whether power lines were involved.
A Frontier Communications utility truck just arrived with a replacement utility pole. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies requested a box of flares be brought to the scene as darkness began to fall. No estimates for when the roads would be reopen were forthcoming.
The roads have been reopened although nearby detour signs have yet to be removed.
UPDATE May 7th
The driver of the truck was cited for failing to secure his load by the Whatcom Sheriff’s Office.