Teresa Graham was sitting by the window, enjoying a plate of avocado toast at the Red Cow on Sunday morning, when a 30-foot light pole tipped over and landed on a car on 50th Street.
“It rusted out and just fell over,” said Graham, who lives two blocks away and took pictures of the shorn light pole’s base. “It wasn’t a windy day on Sunday. It was calm and kind of nice out.”
The light pole, one of 10 of its kind along 50th Street in south Minneapolis, was installed about 20 years ago, said Jon Wertjes, director of traffic and parking services for Minneapolis. City staff have removed the fallen pole and checked the others nearby. None of them is in danger of going down, he said.
And while there is at least one other recent example of a light pole tipping over in Minneapolis, there is no widespread problem, Wertjes said.
“We’ve got an occasional number of poles that need to be repaired for a variety of reasons. Most of those circumstances are related to a crash,” he said. “There are rare occasions like this one on 50th where we have some rust.”
Graham said that if the pole had fallen north, toward the restaurant, instead of south, across the street, someone could have been hurt. “The restaurant was full so there was a waiting line with a lot of kids,” she said. “It was really fortunate that no one was injured.”
The vehicle that was struck was dented, but nobody was injured, Graham said.
And she commended Red Cow staff for quickly sweeping up the broken glass in the street and moving the fallen pole to the sidewalk.