Archive for Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heavy thunderstorms cut power to many in Douglas County

September 19, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Updated September 20, 2013, 9:26 a.m.


Lightening struck this tree at 2709 Ousdahl Rd. Thursday night, crushing handyman Greg Springer's van parked in the driveway.

Lightening struck this tree at 2709 Ousdahl Rd. Thursday night, crushing handyman Greg Springer's van parked in the driveway.

About 440 residences in Douglas County lost power after thunderstorms tore through the area. Westar spokesman Shane Batchelder said by about 4 a.m. Friday most all customers, save for about 20, had power restored.

"There was a lot of tree damage" and debris that flew into power lines, Batchelder said. "A handful of customers had meter boxes pulled away from their homes."

Westar called in crews in from Topeka, Atchison and Shawnee to help out. Batchelder said about six customers are without power as of Friday morning, but that is typical at any given time.

Check Westar's interactive map of power outages to report an outage or follow up.

Earlier in Thursday evening, at the peak of the storm, nearly 2,400 homes and businesses were reported without electricity before Westar employees restored power to some areas.

Neighborhoods in South Lawrence along 23rd and Iowa streets were among the most affected by the electrical outages.

The National Weather Service forecast predicted heavy storms through Thursday evening, ending after midnight.

The storm was destructive to property, as well. Handyman Greg Springer was working inside a rental property at 2709 Ousdahl Rd. when lightning struck a tree in the front yard. Springer says the tree split in two, crashing on his van parked in the driveway.

"The van might have saved the house," Springer said. "The tree kind of rolled over the van and away from the house."


Rick Aldrich 4 years, 9 months ago

23rd street from Louisiana Street west to Naismith was without power.

windjammer 4 years, 9 months ago

A unattended tree owned by Tennants to Homeowners fell through the roof of one their tennants. With more dead trees on their properties their will surley be more havoc.

windjammer 4 years, 9 months ago

Fell through the roof of one of their vehicles.

Lacy Mohler 4 years, 9 months ago

I was in Five Guys and wind ripped the awnings off the building.

arch007bak 4 years, 9 months ago

Called Westar to report the line to my neighbor's house down, laying across the driveway, draped across the top of their Jeep and the conduit to the meter ripped off the wall. No response yet. They've called Westar also. Seems like a fire hazard considering the power is still on with the opening on top of the meter open to rain.

workinghard 4 years, 9 months ago

Hope you guys called 911, they can get westar to respond better than the public.

melott 4 years, 9 months ago

Meanwhile, Wow interrupts cable service twice, to issue warnings for areas 20 to 50 miles away from Lawrence. Once it was for a storm that had already passed through Lawrence. Their cable boxes are disabled after the interruptions, and have to be rebooted. Definitely high tech.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

You betcha, melott. After all, no one commutes between Lawrence and the greater KC area so there's no reason to think anyone in Lawrence would have any reason to care if areas in the KC area are flooding. Nope, no way, no how.

As for WOW being responsible for last night's emergency broadcasts, those have been in effect for decades, long before cable tv existed.

Laura Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

I've never had to reboot my DVR after an EBS alert; I did have to hit play again on the recorded show I was watching and later the show I was recording stopped and restarted but I didn't miss any of it. And, as Kernal said, WOW has nothing to do with EBS alerts, though using them for weather seems a bit much. Should be reserved for the zombie apocalypse.

Anyway I'm thinking I got very lucky, especially after seeing all the tree branches down along Mass. I live about five blocks west of 23rd and Iowa and I had about five minutes of high winds and rain that browned out my power (and rebooted the darn DVR), but then it was just steady rain the rest of the evening and no wind. Very localized storms here I guess.

melott 4 years, 9 months ago

It was more than a broadcast. I was not watching a channel when it went off--but a recorded show. It pre-empted that, and nothing worked afterward. Twice.

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