PG&E: Heat played factor in traffic jam

RED BLUFF, Calif. - Electrical crews said the heat played a factor in Wednesday's traffic jam in Tehama County. Downed communication cables blocked Interstate 5 in Red Bluff.

The report came in and traffic was halted around 3:30 p.m. south of Antelope Boulevard. The downed cables stretched across both the northbound and southbound lanes. Caltrans crews along with the CHP diverted traffic to the nearby highway exits.

Caltrans officials said a big-rig snared the line overhead and pulled it down. It was a Charter Communications cable and the damage caused some internet outages in the area.

PG&E crew members said the hot weather may be to blame.

"Just a hot day [Wednesday]. So usually with that it makes the conductor sag to a lower level than normal," said PG&E worker John Bell. "Apparently a commercial rig snagged it and pulled it down on I-5."

A small area of vegetation caught fire and was quickly put out.

Caltrans officials said this is the third time in eight years in this same spot that the internet lines have been pulled down by a passing vehicle.

Lanes were reopened around 5:00 p.m.

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