snowplowBristol, Paris and Salem responders were busy Sunday

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

With snow flurries falling in Southeast Wisconsin, including Western Kenosha County, there was a flurry of activity by three municipal fire departments Sunday.

The first snowfall, which brought about 4 inches, caused power lines to arc, resulting in reports of sparking, along with some vehicle crashes in the towns of Paris and Salem and the Village of Bristol.

According to Town of Paris Fire Chief Roland Iwen, whose department responded to a report of a transformer outage in the 19800 block of 60th Street and crash on Interstate 94, he attributes downed trees to excess moisture of snow.

“The snow weighed down the branches,” Iwen said on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, for the Village of Bristol and Town of Salem, fire officials from both municipalities reported more widespread arching of power lines and downed trees.

In a statement released by Bristol Fire Department’s Public Information Officer, Chris Medlock, the department reported eight of 11 emergency calls from 2:53 a.m. until 11:16 p.m. were weather-related.

“Bristol Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched for three motor vehicle collisions between approximately 1:51 p.m. and 8:38 p.m.,” Medlock states in the release. “Occupants of all involved vehicles in each of these collisions only sustained minor injuries.”

Additionally, there were reports of five separate incidents of arcing power lines and related vegetation fires in Bristol from 4:19 p.m. until 6:24 p.m.

Of the five, three were in succession, all involving tree lights sparking either in the front yard, the roadway or on electrical wires.

“No personal injury or property damage is known to have resulted from these occurrences,” the release states.

Salem Fire Chief Mike Slover reported similar incidents, with an estimated 12 weather-related calls.

Most of the calls were for wires arcing, he stated.

“Snow was heavy and pushed down trees to make contact with power lines,” said Slover, who also reported no injuries.

Slover added that while they responded to every call, the Town of Salem Fire Department has limitations when it comes to electrical issues.

“The calls were deemed non-hazardous and there was nothing we can do about it,” said Slover, whose department reports all electrical concerns to We Energies.

But, despite the limitation, he said residents are advised to notify emergency personnel regardless.

The Bristol Fire Department, meanwhile, offered another suggestion in wintery weather.

“The Bristol Fire Department reminds everyone to exercise enhanced caution and roadway awareness when driving during winter weather conditions,” the release states. “Please safely yield to responding emergency vehicles, and move over for disabled vehicles and emergency vehicles parked at roadway scenes.”


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