About 6,600 Westar Energy customers in east Lawrence and Eudora were without power - and heat, as temperatures dipped below freezing - Thursday night after a breaker failed in a substation near 23rd Street and O'Connell Road.
The outage began just before 9 p.m., and Westar Energy crews on scene identified the cause about 11:30 p.m. By 12:30 a.m., power was reportedly restored.
According to Westar Energy spokeswoman Gina Penzig, the outage stretched from an area bordered by 19th Street on the north, North 1100 Road on the south and parts of Eudora on the east. No information was available on exactly how far west the outage stretched.
Checkers Foods, 2300 La., was in the dark, but still serving customers. Just across 23rd Street, power was on.
Rich Stevens, a 26-year-old Checkers employee, was manning the electric doors. Other employees guided customers down aisles with flashlights. The store is open 24 hours a day.
Stevens said Checkers lost some customers who couldn't pay with credit or debit cards because their transactions couldn't be processed without electricity.
At her home in the 1600 block of Rhode Island, Anne Tangeman read a Charles Dickens novel on her couch by candlelight.
"I hope it doesn't get too cold, but it's fine," she said. "It makes you think just how much electricity you use all the time."
The outage also reminded her to buy batteries for her flashlight, she said.
Flashlights helped the show go on at Lawrence High School during a production of "Lend me a Tenor." When the power went out, audience members thought the show was over, but some flashlights were hastily produced and the young drama students brought down the house.