Electricity has been restored to businesses in downtown Cedar Rapids after an underground cable fire forced authorities to cut nine power lines last night. Firefighters were called just after 7:30 p.m. to the 200 block of 2nd Street Southeast.
Thick, black smoke was coming from an broken transformer below the sidewalk outside the Granby building. Just over 60 employees in three interconnected buildings were evacuated. The underground fire eventually affected around 150 downtown customers and forced bars in the area to close early. At 10:45 p.m., several explosions sent flames up to three feet in the air.
No one was injured and power was restored to most of downtown during the early morning hours. Alliant crews are working today to replace the power lines that were cut.