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White Plains DPW: Cause Of Fallen Pole Is Unknown

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A light pole fell onto Court Street in downtown White Plains Monday afternoon, narrowly missing a woman walking in the crosswalk, police and witnesses said.

Police said the woman was not hurt but was a little shaken up when the pole fell about noon at Main and Court streets . She declined medical attention.

White Plains Public Works Commissioner Bud Nicoletti said his department would investigate the cause of the incident.

“There were bolts that failed,” Nicoletti said. “We’re investigating the cause and taking action to anything that looks similar to this.”

Court Street was closed for more than an hour as the light pole was removed, put on a tow truck and driven to the Department of Public Works headquarters. Nicoletti said the pole is still usable and he and his crew would inspect it “to make sure it’s good.”

The pole was installed five or six years ago, Nicoletti said. When asked if his department conducts routine checks on light poles, he said that is “normally not necessary.”

“They’re designed to be in for life. We have poles that are 30 to 40 years,” Nicoletti said. He has been commissioner for 27 years and said he had never seen anything like this happen before.

Mayor Thomas Roach was on the scene and said it should not have happened.

"This is a well-maintained city,” he said. "We are going to find out how it happened."

He commended the work of the DPW calling it “a really, really strong department” dealing with what was dangerous work.

Alex Gonzalez, who saw the pole fall, said he was glad no one was hurt during the “crazy incident.”

“It came like a foot from her,” he said. “It landed right next to her. Thank God there was no car there. That could have happened when a car went by.”

Crews rotated one of the lights on the Main Street pole on the other side of the street “to have a head that would face that side of traffic,” Nicoletti said, while the DPW worked on getting a temporary light up on Court Street. It will be up within a day or two, Nicoletti said.

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