Crews reopen most of Denny Way ahead of evening commute

SEATTLE -- Three of four lanes along Denny Way have reopened after being blocked by toppled power poles from a construction accident.

Seattle DOT crews say one westbound lane of Denny remains blocked at the scene near Minor Avenue.

Police say a backhoe at a construction site for a new Seattle City Light power substation knocked over a power pole, which in turn toppled three others and a number of power lines just before noon.

"The backhoe got caught on the wire and in continuing to move forward it put stress on the different poles and snapped them," said Seattle City Light Spokesman Scott Thomsen.

Three people became stuck inside vehicles that had live power lines draped across them. A Seattle City Light crew was on the scene was finally able to cut the power and free those inside about 2 1/2 hours later.

Seattle City Light officials said the damage was extensive and repair work was originally expected to keep Denny Way closed between Fairview and Stewart until sometime between 10 p.m. Monday and midnight Tuesday morning. However, crews were able to reopen the two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane just after 3:30 p.m.

No one was hurt.