Archive for Friday, December 7, 2007

Power failure leaves thousands in area without light and heat

December 7, 2007


Outage affects nearly 7000 Westar customers

A major power outage left thousands of area residents in the dark tonight. Enlarge video

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.


Richard Heckler 10 years, 5 months ago

Power outages aka forced conservation are good for the environment.

Sharon Roullins 10 years, 5 months ago

I depend on an oxygen machine at night and while my power was off for almost two hours, we managed. Most motorists seemed confused at the intersection of 23rd and Haskell. When there are no traffic lights, the rule is to come to a complete stop and wait your turn. Some were just speeding through the intersections as if it were a free for all. I couldn't believe it. Thank goodness there were no accidents but I saw several in the making. Thanks Westar for restoring service when you did,

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 5 months ago

Hey, warmer, if you can get sunflower and westar to agree to it, I'm all for shutting down jefferies and lawrence plants in exchange for constructing one in Holcomb, but only if the pollution controls included in the plant are much more effective than those they proposed, and huge investments are made in wind-generation capacity and new transmission lines.

mom_of_three 10 years, 5 months ago

Thank goodness the wind wasn't blowing last night, or it would have been much worse for those of us without power. Our house was pretty warm without heat for quite a while.

Jillster 10 years, 5 months ago

The power was definitely out north of 19th St. Lights went out at Lawrence Community Theatre just as intermission was wrapping up at last night's performance of "Forever Plaid."

imastinker 10 years, 5 months ago

Merrill, that was the stupidest thing you've ever said.

msshaden, You should look into a battery backup using deep cycle patteries and a power inverter or a generator if you need power to run your oxygen machine

Flap Doodle 10 years, 5 months ago

merrill, you need to lead by example here. Shut off all your utilities for 12 hours each day. Do that for a year & then let us know how it goes.

jhawkrawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I am an "East-sider". Apparently, things that happen here stay here, because the media doesn't care.

This entire side of town had no electricity from 9 pm until midnight on December 6. Granted, some on the west side may not care if the east side freezes to death. But, I at least expected to find an explanation of why we were freezing last night on

Last night I was at work, in the dark, calling everyone I knew for information about the power outage. Nobody could find any information. As I visited local media websites this morning I came to the frightening conclusion that when I am "in the dark", so is the local media.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 5 months ago

Merrill, that was the stupidest thing you've ever said.

accurate, and there are so many vapid, lame or inappropriate posts to choose from. merrill is a despicable subhuman for praising those who blow up our troops in Iraq. his comment here is also hypocritical, since he obviously used electricity to read the paper online and to post, unless of course he generated the electricity himself with a bicycle generator! he is a lame excuse for a poster, a lame excuse for a human and just posts liberal spam on here. a while ago one poster asked: "so, is merrill actually software that spams the boards with liberal posts?"

jhawkrawk, there was an article on here last night...I even commented on it stating that coverage of east lawrence power outage was a pleasant surprise, but wondering if that coverage only came because the outage included eudora. they actually were rather prompt with their article online, so I don't know why you didn't see it. obviously, you could click on my screen name and view posts, and there you'll find my post on that article.

WiseOne 10 years, 5 months ago

As often as our power goes out in Eudora, we should get a rebate back at the end of each month!

hornhunter 10 years, 5 months ago

The power was out? Sorry I missed it was out of town selling some I-70 property, must be cold and wet.

Kathy Gates 10 years, 5 months ago

Come on, jhawkrawk--does every thread have to turn into an east side vs. west side argument?

FatTony 10 years, 5 months ago


"that way Westar will be able to buy power so we won't have so many of these outages."

You idiot the power would have still gone out, it was a breaker problem, not that there was no power available. Read the story you moron before you post stupid innacurate comments to further your own agenda.

Ralph Reed 10 years, 5 months ago

msshaden. I agree, you might want to into getting either a battery back-up (ups) or a portable oxygen tank to keep for emergencies. I trust you're alright.


jhawkrawk (Anonymous). This had nothing to do with East-side vs West-side (or Lawrence vs Johnson County West). Our power was out, so I called Westar and stayed on the line. The young lady told me a large area was affected because of a problem with a substation. The article above gives a pretty good idea of which areas were without power.

/***/ Our power was back on about midnight, and we're usually at the end of the line for power restoration. Thanks to the Westar crew(s) for their fast work on a miserable night.

I agree with the general concensus on merrill's comment. Also, unless Dollypawpaw (Anonymous) is trying to be sarcastic and take a poke a merrill's comment, I place her/his last comment on the same level as merrill's.


(I'm me. Who are you behind your secret identity?)

bearded_gnome 10 years, 5 months ago

ralph, I am safe behind my screen name, thank you very much.

it becomes clear, merrill's vision for america is that we live a third-world existence. rolling power outages, broken streets (he praises as passive traffic calming devices) and a disrespected military. now, it is complete Merrill wishes us to live like the third-world! I have a better idea: merrill how 'bout you move to Chad, pakistan, malawi, cambodia etc. and leave off your liberal spam on the comment boards. see how long the benevolent citizens' committee in china lets you behave this way! enjoy saving energy with power outages in pakistan. driving or biking on very broken streets in africa. oh, if you're bicycling, the thieves will take your laptop, flashlight, bike, and your pants and leave you at the side of that broken street.

finally, the idea of saving energy with a power outages, the power comes on, and batteries charge. fridges run extra to catch up. thermstats on heaters kick on, so when the power comes back on, there's an increased draw right then. you in your liberal pot haze wouldn't have considered that.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

ah, the memories!

as we have a power outage today, note here Merrill's original post and reactions to it!

and this was before the evil threaddeddededdednesses began, everybody's posts were equal and we all chatted together.

wish we could return to this form of posting.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

imastinker (anonymous) says…

Merrill, that was the stupidest thing you've ever said.


December 7, 2007 at 9:27 a.m.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

Jillster (anonymous) says…

The power was definitely out north of 19th St. Lights went out at Lawrence Community Theatre just as intermission was wrapping up at last night's performance of "Forever Plaid."

---Forever Plaid was a very funny show with great music!

Slaphappy 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm off grid. I have been living off of and staying warm with natural gas for years. I have thought about energy from the wind, but it's just cleaner for the enviroment to use natural gas. The birds are happy.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

yes, and natural gas does burn rather clean I hear.

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