SUNNYVALE -- A blown transformer sent live wires across Highway 85 near the Interstate 280 connector, quickly causing a traffic nightmare for Monday-morning commuters.
The California Highway Patrol got word about 6 a.m. that a power transformer blew near the Homestead Avenue offramp from Highway 85 just north of I-280. It caused a fire in some roadside vegetation and caused a cable to fall in the northbound lanes.
Fire crews from the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety extinguished the fire and PG&E was summoned to de-energize the downed line, but it was later determined that the affected wire carried phone and other communication services.
The effect on the commute was severe: Highway 85 in both directions at the site of the downed line was closed while crews worked to remove it from the roadway. Traffic was diverted off the freeway or very slowly around the line.
All lanes were reopened by 7:40 a.m.
About an hour and half after the first report of the downed wire, a woman in a silver Honda told authorities that a wire struck her car, but there was no immediate report of injury.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.