Beginning at 11 p.m. Thursday, powerful thunder storms rolled through the Golden Belt and brought down over 300 power poles, Midwest Energy reported Friday morning. The areas impacted hardest were primarily South of K-96, from Jetmore in the west to just west of Hutchinson in the east.
As of late Friday morning, there were around 2,300 customers without electricity, said Mike Morley, Midwest Energy communications manager. Most of the damage was in Midwest’s Great Bend District.
At the peak, nearly 7,700 members were without power, but by 3:30 a.m. Friday, that number is now 7,510, and at 6:30 a.m., the number was down to 3,650 in 82 outages, most south of K-96.
“The area was huge,” Morley said. Power was also re-routed to restore power until the poles were repaired.
Crews from Great Bend, Hays, Hanston, Kinsley and Lyons, as well as five Parr Electric contract crews, are either already out or had been called in to gear up and begin making repairs. Great Bend district crews are out working, and Hays crews were en route to assist, as are several contract crews.
Warehouse personnel from Hays and Great Bend were busy loading trucks so crews could make repairs.
“This is definitely an all-hands effort,” Morley said. He was expecting work to continue into the weekend.
“We appreciate everybody’s patience,” he said.
Midwest Energy Inc. is an electric and natural gas cooperative serving 92,000 customers in central and western Kansas.