Wind turbine topples in Mill Run, startles residents
By Karl Polacek
Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 5:03 p.m.
When big wind turbines fall, they make a lot of noise. But not everyone hears the crash.
Wayne Steyer, 75, of Clay Run Road in Mill Run, Springfield Township, was in his basement watching TV about 9 p.m. Wednesday when the power flickered. His wife, Ruth, 73, who was on the main floor of their home, heard a rumble and saw the same flickering of the electricity.
“I thought it was thunder,” she said.
The couple's daughter-in-law, Trudy, 45, who lives next door with her husband Ronald, said she heard the rumble and felt her house shake.
“I thought it was thunder snow,” she said. “We get that a lot of that up here in the winter.”
Trudy Steyer and her daughter, Laura, said they ran out onto the porch and looked up the hill toward the ridge line.
“What's that lump?” Trudy Steyer said she asked. “And where is that windmill (the wind turbine that used to stand at that location)?”
The wind turbine, the last of four that stood along the ridge in a line on what used to be Wayne Steyer's property, fell to the ground. It now lies in a twisted mass near where it stood since 2001. NextEra Energy Resources owns the line of wind turbines along a 300-foot wide right of way purchased from Wayne Steyer. The site is called the Mill Run Energy Center.
“I'm surprised it fell,” said Wayne Steyer, adding it was a quiet night with very little wind. “We've had a lot of strong wind this year, but not last night.”
There were no injuries reported.
Steve Stengel, a spokesman for NextEra, said it is too early for the company to determine the cause of the failure.
“We've dispatched several teams to help the local team determine what happened,” Stengel said. “Wind turbines are very safe, very reliable.”
According to Stengel, the company generates more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity through its 10,000 wind turbines around the nation.
A search on the Internet found another collapse in a wind farm in Oregon. But that collapse happened during a period of high wind.
Stengel said the turbines are located on private property away from buildings.
“The risk to the public (from a collapse) is zero,” he added.
Early reports indicated the turbine fell on a public road. However, Normalville Fire Chief Mark Bigam confirmed it only fell on an access road that is protected by a locked gate.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Smithfield man shot after fleeing traffic stop
- UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
- Masontown girl pulls off heroic task at state farm show
- Connellsville community center enjoying rebirth
- Choral concerts planned in Dawson church
- Curfew concerns presented to Connellsville mayor
- ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
- Dawson mayor, CSX aim to repair railroad crossing at intersection
- South Connellsville accepts police chief’s resignation
- Connellsville author participates in oral history project
- Resurfacing part of Route 119 on list of PennDOT projects in Connellsville area