Abbeville Electrical Superintendent Stewart Head repairs the main line in order to get the electricity back on in the city. Power was turned off in the city while Stewart repaired the line.
The main line is being hooked back up by the Abbeville Electrical Department.
Contractor electrocuted while working on Abbeville power lines; city shuts off electricity for an hour
Around 10:30 on Tuesday morning, power had to be shut off in the City of Abbeville to make repairs after a contractor was electrocuted while working on a live electrical line.
According to Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza, the contractor is alive, but severely burned. The contractor’s name has not been released.
“He was airlifted to the burn center in Baton Rouge,” Piazza said. “He was talking to the police and firemen who responded before the ambulance transported him from the scene.”
The contractor works for Sol Power Lines.
Piazza said the city hired the contractor to make some repairs to lines and change out five poles after Hurricane Barry caused some damage when it hit in July. Piazza said the contractors were making repairs without having to shut off power to the entire city-wide.
“They were working on the line as what they refer to as hot,” Piazza explained, “meaning it’s live.”
Piazza said it is not an uncommon way for some contractors to work on high-transmission lines.
“They are specialized in this and that is why we hire them for this kind of work,” Piazza said, “but it is dangerous work.”
Contractors were replacing electrical poles on Ollie Drive, near Abbeville High School, when the incident occurred.
“I heard a big boom,” said one person who lives on Ollie Drive. “I thought it was a thunderstorm that came out of nowhere.”
Ollie Drive is near the Pete Noel Substation, the city’s primary power source.
“We had to shut the substation down completely,” Piazza said. “They were not going to be able to make repairs with the wires still live.”
Abbeville Electrical crews had power restored after an hour.
Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau announced at 11 a.m. that the four schools in Abbeville would be let out early because schools were without electricity.