Wind turbine rolls off of truck in Elgin

An intersection here was closed to traffic Tuesday after a semi-trailer truck hauling a large piece of a wind turbine had the piece fall off of the trailer. Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said the truck driver was attempting to turn onto Highway 70 west toward the O’Neill area from Highway 14 when the plate that held the turbine in place snapped. No one was injured in the 10 a.m. incident, and the only damages immediately apparent were to the rig and the turbine, Moore said. It was not known as of Tuesday afternoon how long it would take to clean up the accident scene. A representative of the Nebraska Department of Transportation said the state had closed off truck traffic from Neligh to Petersburg on Highway 14 until the intersection in Elgin had been cleared. Regular traffic was permitted on the highway, with a short detour around the 14-70 intersection. Moore said Elgin residents had been warned by the Elkhorn Rural Public Power District that a power outage might occur sometime Tuesday, depending on what the accident cleanup required. Two tow trucks were said to be coming from Grand Island to get the wind turbine and truck off of the road. The Antelope County Sheriff’s Department, the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Department of Transportation responded to the accident. A witness on scene said he saw the accident occur and felt the earth shake when the turbine hit the road. “I’ve never seen anything like this. … The same (truck) company took out a fire hydrant on that corner (at the 14-70 intersection) last week,” he said.