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Archive for Monday, December 6, 2010

Nearly 8,000 lose power as wide-ranging outage hits core of Lawrence; nearly all service restored within an hour

A map from Westar Energy shows the area where nearly 8,000 customers are without power Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The outage stretched from downtown to Iowa and from North Lawrence south to 15th Street.

A map from Westar Energy shows the area where nearly 8,000 customers are without power Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The outage stretched from downtown to Iowa and from North Lawrence south to 15th Street.

December 6, 2010, 1:36 p.m. Updated December 6, 2010, 3:46 p.m.

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A Westar Energy worker surveys a power transformer at 6th and Kentucky streets on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. Nearly 8,000 customers lost power on Monday afternoon.

A Westar Energy worker surveys a power transformer at 6th and Kentucky streets on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. Nearly 8,000 customers lost power on Monday afternoon.

Crews investigate the cause of a major power outage in Lawrence at a substation on Sixth and Kentucky streets Monday, Dec. 6, 2010.

Crews investigate the cause of a major power outage in Lawrence at a substation on Sixth and Kentucky streets Monday, Dec. 6, 2010.

Nearly 8,000 customers, about 18 percent of Westar Energy's customers in Douglas County, lost power for about an hour Monday afternoon after a wide-ranging power outage struck downtown Lawrence and numerous other areas.

By 3 p.m., all of the more than 44,000 Douglas County customers had their power restored.

The power outage did cause a mistrial in a DUI case in Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin’s courtroom.

Martin said the two sides waited for 45 minutes for the power to return once the courtroom went pitch black.

The prosecutor and defense attorney eventually agreed to have Martin dismiss the jury and declare a mistrial before the power returned. The two sides agreed to reschedule the trial for Jan. 24.

Martin said this was the first time in her career on the bench that a power outage had caused a mistrial.

The outage had affected an area including parts of North Lawrence south to 15th Street and from at least New York Street west to Iowa Street. Most of the Kansas University campus had power throughout the outage

There were dozens of traffic lights out in the central part of the city, David Woosley, the city's traffic engineer, said. Woosley said the city didn't have an exact total of the number of lights impacted by the power outage, but he said lights throughout downtown, and on parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ninth and Sixth streets likely have been impacted.

Woosley said the lights are designed to resume functioning once power is restored without any assistance from city crews. But Woosley said it is possible some traffic lights may be in a flashing red condition once power is restored, which in those cases a city crew will need to reset the lights. People can report flashing red lights at the city's traffic division at 832-3035.

Drivers are reminded that when an intersection is without power, they should treat it like a four-way stop.

Westar Energy representative Gina Penzig said the outage affected several circuits and crews are trying to switch customers to alternate circuits to restore power while they repair the substation at Sixth and Kentucky streets.

Penzig said the outage was caused by a faulty piece of underground equipment, and that crews estimate they will have power restored to all customers by 2:45 p.m.

Power was restored to the News Center in the area of 7th and New Hampshire a little after 2:15 p.m. Areas in North Lawrence, near Lawrence Memorial Hospital and other parts of downtown also reported power being restored at the same time.

Here's a rundown of locations where people reported losing power:

• Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine Street

• Kansas Public Radio and Audio Reader, 1120 W. 11th Street

• Kaw River Water Treatment Plant, 2nd and Indiana streets

• Downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts Street from 6th Street to 11th Street.

• 9th and Rockledge streets

• 9th and New York streets

• Some Sunflower Broadband customers — at least in North Lawrence — lost power and the cable provider said it was dispatching generators to those locations.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital povided services throughout the outage with emergency backup generators, a spokeswoman said.

Janice Early-Weas said the hospital has an emergency preparedness plan for such incidences.

“Any essential services will not be affected at all,” she said.

Check LJWorld.com for updates.

Comments

Kent Fisher 4 years ago

Officials suspect that Parkside Christmas's and Light Up Lawrence's displays are to blame...(lol). Better switch to the backup nuclear power, ala Christmas Vacation!

beebo 4 years ago

There was a large explosion of one or more transformers at 6th and Vermont. Fireball, loud boom and big puff of smoke.

Boston_Corbett 4 years ago

Hillcrest Shopping Center - no power

rkershenbaum 4 years ago

We're on the east side of New York St. in the 700 block, and we're out.

Steve Jacob 4 years ago

People...when you see no lights at 14th and Mass, at least slow down, treating it as a four way stop would be better, but I'm asking too much.

sourpuss 4 years ago

WEll, that's the law. The police should take advantage and get their monthly ticket quota at the intersection if people blow through it.

Raymond Munoz 4 years ago

The Douglas County Dental Clinic is without power as well. Patients please be advised we may have to reschedule.

Alan Potter 4 years ago

Off at home (11th and Penn) but on here at work at 13th and Oregon.

djbrown 4 years ago

We are at 1040 New Hampshire and without power. The courthouse is out too.

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years ago

I texted home to check. Lawrence Ave - south of 9th - has power - at least on the east side of the street.

Chad Collins 4 years ago

Business at 12th and Oregon, out. My mom always said it was time to go to bed if the power went out.

J1985 4 years ago

Is there power further down on E. 23rd Street?

Steve Jacob 4 years ago

Think so, don't think the outage went that far south. Light on 14th and Mass was out, but 17th and Mass was good.

Kendall Simmons 4 years ago

I'd have expected someone to blame it on WikiLeaks :-)

Katherine Greene 4 years ago

Lake Street, north of the river has outages.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

This is what the UFO guys will do to hide the early stages of their invasion.

kernal 4 years ago

More LPD officers headed to central Lawrence for traffic control? Wonder if an accident since ambulance headed that way. Be mindful out there.

jehovah_bob 4 years ago

Has Westar been swept for Stuxnet?

Mark Zwahl 4 years ago

Downtown on E. 9th (Z's) just came back on.

Gail Grant 4 years ago

I was at LMH and the power went down as well

GardenMomma 4 years ago

BTW Copy Editor, LMH's address is 325 Maine.

Adrienne Sanders 4 years ago

Looking forward to resetting all my clocks when I get home. Again.

KansasPerson 4 years ago

"Nearly 8,000 customers, about 18 percent of Westar Energy's customers in Douglas County, lost power"

but

"As of 3 p.m., all of the more than 44,000 Douglas County customers had their power restored."

I'm just confused -- is 44,000 the total number of DgCo customers, the 8,000 who lost power plus everyone who didn't? Second sentence made me wonder if the outage was much bigger than I thought!

Richard Payton 4 years ago

That the night that the lights went out in Georgia oops I mean Lawrence. Well maybe day instead of night but it was dark.

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