Weather causes damage

Wade McIntyre
A crew from Diamond Electric of Baton Rouge works at the intersection of Cornerview and Hwy. 61 in Gonzales last week, repairing damage from an apparent lightning strike.

A lighting strike during a Monday evening thunderstorm apparently struck a stoplight at Hwy. 61 and Cornerview in Gonzales, burning out wiring and causing damage that took about 1 1/2 days to repair.

“It looked like lightning hit that thing,” said Mayor Barney Arceneaux. “A lady I talked to was driving through the light at the time and said that it had to be lightning.”

When lightning hit the light pole, it fell, according to DPW Director/Chief Building Official Alvin Broussard.

Based on the woman’s eyewitness account and a state highway department investigation, lightning was the culprit in the incident, Broussard said.

He said a cable broke when the lighting burned through it.

The repair and replacement work was performed by Diamond Electric of Baton Rouge, working as a contractor for DOTD.

Diamond had been working in the area on a project for DOTD replacing stoplights from Baton Rouge to Sorrento, Broussard said. When the incident at Airline and Cornerview occurred, the contractor was able to shift a crew to the knocked out light scene and give repair work there a priority.

The company installed new wiring, four flexible poles and lights during the repair work, Broussard said.