OPELIKA, Ala. – Many Opelika residents and businesses are recovering tonight, after a power outage disrupted their day Monday. A car crash caused hundreds to lose power instantly. Opelika Police say a driver went off-road around 4:30 p.m. Central the day after Christmas. The driver then rammed into a power pole. The damaged guard wire cut off power to several homes and businesses within a few square miles.
It took Opelika Power crews a matter of a couple of hours to restore power in Tiger Town — one of the busiest shopping districts in the county — and the surrounding areas. Opelika resident Bill Brand thought he experienced something out of the apocalypse Monday afternoon.
“I’ve never seen a ball of fire that big. It was like a bomb,” Brand said. “About two minutes [after the first boom], the second one went off. And then a couple minutes later, the third one went off. And then the one down the street went off.”
Brand says the loud booms disturbed neighbors, stirring a scare in the community. Opelika Police Capt. Bobby Kilgore believes the crash the caused the power outages was random. But the random accident also caused a ton of commotion.
“Well, it did cause a disruption December 26, the day after Christmas,” Kilgore said. “People are attempting to take advantage of the after Christmas sales and return different things. There were a lot of people in the area, and it’s one of the busiest areas in Opelika.”
Crews with Opelika Power restored power in the area by 7:30 p.m. Central. They were out Tuesday attempting to strengthen the power lines in the area of Frederick Rd. between Corporate Park Dr. and Cunningham Dr.
Capt. Kilgore says charges could be pending in this investigation. This particular crash comes in the middle of a slew of vehicle accidents in Lee County.