by Todd Wellington
An estimated 200-250 South Wheelock residents were without power Monday evening after a tree fell, snapping power lines at the intersection of South Wheelock Road and Town Highway 3.
Neighbors in the area reported that they were at home when their televisions "started to go on and off" and the electric appliances started "sparking." They then heard a "cracking sound" from outside and witnessed smoke coming from the ballasts on the telephone poles that line the road. Other witnesses reported "flames shooting out of the street lights."
Arriving at the intersection, known as the "Four Corners," the residents saw the tree lying on top of the power line in the side yard of the South wheelock Freewill Baptist Church. The tree was reportedly smoldering at the time and showed burn marks on its trunk after the event.
A crew from the South Wheelock Fire Station, which is located just 50 feet away, was frist to respond to the scene. They were joined by other units from the Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department, who secured the area until a crew from the Lyndonville Electric Department arrived to fix the broken lines.