EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 11, 2014

Car hits pole, knocks out power in Methuen

METHUEN — A car struck a utility pole on Osgood Street, resulting in hundreds of residents and businesses in the area losing electrical power yesterday afternoon.

The accident happened at around 1:30 p.m. No injuries were reported, according to police Lt. Greg Gallant.

Erin Del Llano, spokeswoman for National Grid, said that 476 customers lost power. The majority, however, had their electricity restored within 10 to 15 minutes, she said.

The police station was among the homes and businesses that lost power, but an emergency generator kept the lights, phones and computers running, Gallant said.

The outage temporarily shut down traffic signals, but there were no major public safety problems, he added.

Among the several businesses that lost power was the Texas Roadhouse at 424 Broadway, less than a half mile from the New Hampshire state line. The restaurant lost its power for three hours, forcing it to close until 5 p.m., owner Dan Cairl said.

"We had to turn people away," he said. Cairl declined to put a dollar value on the amount of business lost. Dozens of potential customers, however, waited for the power to be restored, he said.

By 5:30 p.m., the Texas Roadhouse was busy,

This was not the first time Broadway businesses lost power for an extended time, Cairl said. Almost exactly a year ago, a power outage closed the Roadhouse for half a day, he said.

A National Grid crew worked on replacing the broken pole, which was shorn near its base. Police blocked Osgood Street between Broadway and River Street.

Across the state line in Salem, N.H., no outages were reported, according to police in that town.

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