Cottage trailer downs traffic light, closes intersection

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier drivers found themselves stuck in a gridlock on a major city roadway Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say a MEMA cottage being moved, pulled down all the traffic lights at the intersection of Gautier-Vancleave Road and Martin Bluff Road.

Traffic slowed to nearly a standstill on Gautier-Vancleave Road as a MEMA cottage and downed electrical wires clogged the thoroughfare.

"We don't know where it was coming from, but we know it was going to Perk," said Keith Young, Gautier's Street Division Manager.

"We got a call saying that a truck and a trailer had snatched down power lines," said Police Officer Carlton Logan.  "And the further we got along at it, it took down all the lights."

Cars and trucks detoured through corner gas stations as officers and city officials cleaned up the bizarre scene.  They said the lights can be fixed, but not without a lot of frustration.

"It means a headache," Logan said.  "Because now we've got to put new poles down, rewire the whole traffic light system, we have to put out barricades. We're going to have to funnel all the traffic into one lane to make it a 3-way stop."

Authorities said when they interviewed the driver, he said he had been through the intersection before without a problem.  In fact, this is the first time a MEMA cottage has caused this type of damage on a Gautier road.

"This is our first one, normally they [drivers] call us and we normally escort them or something like that, especially mobile homes.  They didn't have a spotter, and it grabbed the power line and ripped everything out."

The street reopened just after 1pm, and continued to slow traffic hours later.

"Lights won't be back up until about tomorrow [Wednesday] afternoon about this time."

City Manager Sidney Runnels said the city plans to file a claim with the driver's insurance company to cover the damages.

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