Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2012

Storms cause overnight power outages in Lawrence

Westar restores power to many Thursday morning

July 19, 2012, 2:28 a.m. Updated July 19, 2012, 2:51 p.m.


A storm system that moved through the area caused more than 3,500 Westar Energy customers to lose power in Douglas County early Thursday morning.

The outages were scattered across Lawrence, and began at around 1 a.m., said Erin La Row, Westar Energy spokeswoman.

The lightning and trees falling on power lines were to blame for the outages, La Row said, and crews have been working to restore power.

As of 2:45 p.m. Thursday, the number of outages had been cut down to 33 customers in Douglas County.

Areas in western Johnson County near De Soto were also affected by outages, as were scattered sites in Jefferson County, but power had been restored to those areas by Thursday afternoon.

Despite heavy lightning, no warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in Topeka.

Here's the link to the outage map in Lawrence.

We'll keep monitoring.

Here's the link to the National Weather Service radar:


Matthew Herbert 5 years, 11 months ago

You can be sure The cause was NOT a fallen tree- they've already cut all of those down in Lawrence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

I heard two very large "booms" that seemed to come from somewhere around Mass, close to the river.

George_Braziller 5 years, 11 months ago

I heard them as well. All of downtown and East Lawrence was without power until about 2:45 a.m. At least the power outages haven't been as bad a last year.

beezee 5 years, 11 months ago

My alley and the homes along it (2 blocks east of Mass) weren't back on until 5:30AM. East Lawrence and Fallujah are a lot alike to Westar.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the catch. Missed it during the 3am posting.

Shaun LJW

beezee 5 years, 11 months ago

Westar probably THINKS it will fix all BY Friday. That's about the level of "service" those jackasses deliver. I feel sorry for the linemen who have to deal with the results of utterly inept management. My alley in East Lawrence has a major line in it and it is completely overgrown with trees that when wet/windy slap wet leaves against a transformer. I have told the Westar imbeciles about this several times, but I may as well go yell down a sewer.

I hope the KCC gets a LOT of mail vilifying Westar's service-- when they (Westar) next seek a rate hike they should be told to go .... well never mind; I'll assume this is a family web site. Westar ought to have the motto "FUBAR- and proud of it." Management has no clue what preventive maintenance is.

beezee 5 years, 11 months ago

The tree and the transformer are over 50ft from my property.

HutchSaltHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

4 o'clock and still no power.....calling Westar to see where I can stay tonight. This is Baloney Sir! My neighborhood is always the last to get service restored - everytime we have a power outage, I can guarantee that I am cleaning out my refrigerator.

HutchSaltHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Did I mention that they were parked in front of my house at 8 am and assured me it will be on by noon? Talked to a supervisor (Bobbie) in their customer service department and she tells me that they move the crews to different areas to get the most folks restored. So if they are in your area and sitting in front of your house and don't get you on the grid, you are "out of luck".

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Heck, I actually had Pedro at Westar today tell me to "give them a break". By 9:00 am when the power had been out for 8 hours, called their customer service because I have an elderly neighbor with major health problems and an infant day care provider who's homes were getting too hot for them. They told me to load up the "old guy" and take him to a hospital, it wasn't Westar fault. Once crews FINALLY made it to my neighborhood, only took them 1/2 hour to fix the downed lines causing the problem.

Before living in Lawrence, I never experienced the amount of outages I've experienced with Westar. Do they just not maintain equipment and lines?

I can understand being patient when it's 60 degrees outside, but on a day when it's going to reach 105+, they need all crews working fast and furious to get the power on. Someone like me in their 40's can survive without the AC, but not infants and the elderly.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 11 months ago

"Before living in Lawrence, I never experienced the amount of outages I've experienced with Westar. Do they just not maintain equipment and lines?"

Only if they get a rate hike.

beezee 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm amazed you got to a live person at Westar! I'd be glad to give Pedro a break; he could even pick which rib(s).

love2bike 5 years, 11 months ago

Not sure why we have to report power outages. They have implemented this "smart meter" program which is supposed to be sending usage rates to Westar (which we can use to monitor our own usage). If I can monitor my usage over the internet, why can't they detect when service is out to neighborhoods and individual customers? Seems that they should be using this technology we are paying for to respond to power outages, not relying on customers to report outages.

beezee 5 years, 11 months ago

The "smart meter" would depend upon interfacing with smart management. At Westar, that's not going to happen. The company hasn't been the same since it BECAME Westar (from KP&L) and was eviscerated by it's smarmy CEO and his pals. So instead of planning for preventive maintenance (as one example), now they cry to the KCC that they need a RATE HIKE to fund that! KCC needs to remind them very harshly that maintenance and upgrades MUST be part of their business plan.

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