LAKE PLACID — Downed power lines ended up diverting emergency traffic Wednesday from Florida Hospital Lake Placid, briefly.

Reports are that Duke Energy was able to restore power to the lines around the hospital by 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, a little more than half an hour after central dispatchers sent fire crews to the scene.

At 9:12 a.m. Wednesday, fire crews were dispatched to U.S. 27 in front of Florida Hospital Lake Placid, north of the town, for power lines on the ground and sparking.

Shortly afterward, all Emergency Medical Service traffic was diverted to other area hospitals while work crews shut down the power and worked to clear the downed lines.

Motorists were advised to avoid the area, if possible, and to use caution if they must travel that route.

After Duke Energy crews had power restored, the utility sent wireless alerts to its area customers, telling them that a vehicle was responsible for the downed lines.

The message did not specify whether the vehicle hit a power pole or if a tall vehicle had clipped a low-hanging wire.

Scott Dressel, public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that it was a wide load vehicle on the highway that clipped the wires.

He said deputies found the vehicle, but also said Duke Energy opted not to pursue any charges in the matter.


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