While thousands of Warwick residents went without power last week because of high winds, residents of Knight Street in Pontiac suffered an outage caused when a front-end loader caught a wire leading to the former Pontiac Mill Wednesday afternoon.
Steve Lonardo, who lives across the street, witnessed the scene and was knocked off his feet when the wires pulled from his house caused an explosion. Lonardo said he yelled at the vehicle’s driver to stop, but according to his account, the driver persisted, snapping the utility pole across the street from his house and bringing down more wires. Lonardo was thankful no one was hurt, although he said he felt dizzy and went the following day for a medical checkup.
Lonardo’s neighbor, Joseph DeFranco, also had the power feed ripped from his house with an explosion. In the aftermath, DeFranco said his refrigerator, stove and drier weren’t working. DeFranco praised National Grid for their prompt response and repairs that took several hours. There was a report of police responding to the incident, but no report of what transpired. The name of the vehicle driver was not available. The Pontiac Mills Development is aimed at the adaptive reuse of 16 separate historic-textile-mill buildings that are being converted into 131 apartments and 50,000 square feet of office/retail space.