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Local communities without electricity Wednesday morning
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BARTON, RICE Counties — Several local communities, not including Great Bend, were without electricity Wednesday morning  in portions of Barton and Rice Counties due to a problem at Midwest Energy.
According to Mike Morley, communications manager at Midwest Energy, three distribution breakers tripped on transmission lines, causing 1750 customers to loose electricity. Two of the breakers were on 34 KV lines and one was on a 115 KV line.
“We’re still looking into a definitive cause,” said Morley. “It appears to be a physical disruption that caused the breakers to trip.
“No lines were actually down,” he said. “The breakers did what they should do. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
He added that the breakers prevented power surges that could damage equipment.
The first group in the area of Chase was back on in 40 minutes, the second between Chase and Ellinwood were down for one hour, and the third group in Claflin was down for 90 minutes.
The company does not anticipate any further problems, Morley said.
The city of Ellinwood was one of the communities affected. City Administrator, Robert Peter said they were notified about 9:45 a.m. of a problem at Midwest.
Ellinwood has its own electrical generating plant and began powering up. “The whole town was back up in 30-35 minutes,” said Peter.
At about 11 a.m., Ellinwood was notified Midwest was back on line. However, they left one engine on as they have been generating electricity in the afternoons.