Light down

The westbound traffic light at the intersection of East State Street and Broadway Avenue was knocked over by a strong wind gust just before 3 p.m. Friday. The two overhead signals blocked both lanes of State Street forcing police to close traffic at Lincoln and Ellsworth avenues and at South Lundy Avenue to divert traffic from turning west onto State Street. Don Mohr was stopped at the light in his Chevy Blazer and was easing up to it while watching for it to change when the gust hit. “It just came down … bam! … and broke into a bunch of pieces,” he said. Patrolman Rob Keister responded at 2:29 p.m. and called the city electrician while providing traffic control until a temporary signal could be installed. Keister, left, with two city street department employees, inspects the light that stretches across the street. The truck belongs to the city electrician. Wind gusts in the area reportedly topped 25 miles per hour about the time the signal fell. Police cleared the scene at 3:51 p.m. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)