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405 Freeway reopens in O.C.; traffic to linger through rush hour

May 10, 2012 |  4:47 pm

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The 405 Freeway in Orange County is reopening after a utility line fell across lanes, forcing authorities to close the heavily traveled freeway in both direction just as rush-hour traffic was building. The power line, which wasn’t live by the time it hit the ground, fell shortly before 3 p.m., near Magnolia Street in Westminster, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Utility crews had been working on the lines in the area before it fell, officials said.

The incident caused accidents in the northbound and southbound lanes of the 405, although there were only minor injuries, the CHP said.

Motorists stuck in traffic were turning around and driving the wrong way in order to get off the freeway, officials said.

Although lanes in both directions were reopened by 4:30 p.m., officials said significant congestion is expected to last through the evening commute.

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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Map shows approximate location of incident in blue. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

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