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Garbage truck hits primary power pole

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The garbage truck backs out of the alley nearly 30 minutes after striking the pole.

The incident happened around 8:15 in the morning on Tuesday, September 25, according to witnesses at the scene. A garbage truck driver from Republic Services reportedly backed into the primary power pole for the city of Gillespie in the alley west of the Canna Theater. The utility pole had a transformer attached and knocked out power to most of the business district on the east side of Macoupin Street. People Chief Jared DePoppe noted the police department lost power as well along with many houses in the area.

Part of Gillespie was immediately without power as the power pole fell onto a vacant building which used to house Anderson Insurance. “The only damage done appeared to be to the guttering,” DePoppe stated. “The main damage was to the power pole itself.” The driver of the truck was trapped inside the vehicle since the power lines were still live at the time.

Gillespie Police Department took the initial phone call. From there, DePoppe explained, they contacted Ameren and the Gillespie Fire Department. The police department also contacted the street department to block the road off after arriving on scene. “We contacted the witnesses and and completed the accident report,” DePoppe added. Both the driver and garbage truck were removed within 30 minutes, but Ameren workers were on the scene almost the entire day attempting to restore power.

Ameren work on scene to restore power to businesses and residents in Gillespie.

Some local businesses and residents in the area had their power restored by 9 o’clock am, but others did not receive power until early afternoon. DePoppe added that as the garbage truck was backing out of the alley, the power lines got tangled with the truck and pulled the pole down. “No injuries were reported,” he concluded.

Republic Services is the second largest provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services in the nation. Through 800 local operations and the efforts of more than 30,000 employees across the country, they serve a diverse base of customers at their homes and businesses. Recently, they have merged with and purchased a number of hauling divisions and other waste and recycling operations around the country. They are currently trying to bring everything under the “Republic Services” name.

The corporate headquarters for Republic Services is located in Pheonix, Arizona. They boast over 345 local hauling divisions around the country. The truck that hit the utility pole was operating from the Republic Services of Edwardsville, Allied Waste Division.

 

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Thunderstorms, winds, snow, freezing rain coming to BenGil area

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Another major winter storm is forecasted to blanket the BenGil area in heavy rains, flooding and snowfall starting Wednesday night through Thursday.

The mixture of precipitation and rapidly changing weather likely will produce the potential for sudden icing on roads, with high winds leading to blowing snow and reduced visibility.

“The Illinois Department of Transportation’s snow-and-ice teams will be prepared and out in force, but the public needs to be ready for conditions to change quickly and worsen if they are out on the roads,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “As always during periods of extreme weather, the safest option is to postpone any unnecessary trips and stay home. If you must travel, prepare for very slow and potentially hazardous conditions. And please slow down around our plows and other emergency vehicles, giving them plenty of room to do their jobs.”

The National Weather Service is predicting a wintry mix of precipitation to start with thunderstorms and heavy rain in much of the state this evening, converting to freezing rain overnight before turning to snow Thursday morning. In addition to localized flooding, ice and sleet accumulations are likely, creating extremely slippery surfaces and slick conditions.

Due to the rainy conditions ahead of temperatures falling overnight, the effectiveness of pretreating and salting surfaces in advance of significant snowfall will be limited. The public should anticipate icy conditions even when roads appear clear and greatly reduce speeds. 

“As the Illinois State Police plans to take on the unpredictable Illinois weather, we would like to remind motorists to do their part in keeping the roads a safe place,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly.  “ISP, alongside IDOT and other agencies, will be working in hazardous weather conditions. Please remember to slow down, stay vigilant and move over for ANY vehicle on the side of the road.”

Statewide, IDOT has available more than 1,800 trucks and equipment to plow, treat roads and respond to weather emergencies. If you encounter a plow or any maintenance vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your following distance and remain patient. Do not attempt to pass – conditions in front of the plow will be worse than behind it.

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Police investigating death of Bunker Hill woman

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Police are investigating the death of a Bunker Hill woman who was found dead at the end of her driveway near the roadway on Monday morning, January 31.

Nancy Blycker, 91, had multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. The Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call to the 2900 block of Wood Hill Lane around 7:40 a.m. on Monday.

The initial suspicion was homicide, according to a release by the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis who said approximately 20 investigators were working the investigation, but the autopsy contradicted that suspicion.

The Major Case Squad said on Tuesday it is “highly unlikely” Blycker’s death was the “result of homicidal means.”

The Major Case Squad turned the case back over to the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department. The official cause of death is pending further lab analysis.

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Winter storm warning issued for BenGil area

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the BenGil area, southwestern Illinois, and the St. Louis area.

The warning was issued early Tuesday taking effect at midnight tonight until noon on Thursday, February 3 calling for a “wet, heavy” snow. The forecast also calls for ice prompting a warning about possible power outages.

“All indications continue to point to a disruptive, impactful, and dangerous winter storm impacting the region starting late tonight and lasting through Thursday night,” the National Weather Service said in its Area Forecast Discussion.

The BenGil area is expected to receive heavy mixed precipitation including snow accumulations between 6 and 10 inches, sleet accumulations around three-quarters of an inch, and ice accumulations around two-tenths of an inch. Wind gusts will be as high as 35 mph on Thursday.

The storm is expected to start with rain most of the day today before transitioning into a mixture of freezing rain and/or sleet Tuesday night, then all snow Wednesday morning or as late as Wednesday afternoon continuing until about noon on Thursday.

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