By Jim Misunas
Work by Wheatland Electric Co-op employees fixed a power outage in Great Bend Wednesday afternoon. Power was disrupted for 39 minutes.
Chris Huber, Wheatland superintendent, said a power pole near Riley Elementary School was struck by lightning at 2:20 p.m., disrupting power to a downtown area west to U.S. 281 bypass. More than 800 customers were without power in the south central section of Great Bend.
Chris said eight employees worked to survey the area and spliced the power line together and tested the line before power was restored at 2:59 p.m.
Huber said when lightning strikes a line, a sub-station breaker opens to protect the system.
No thunderstorm warning was issued for Barton County, but nearby Stafford and Pawnee counties were under a thunderstorm warning.
The National Weather Service reported 1/2-inch hail in Russell County at 2:33 p.m. on I-70 mile marker 187, which resulted in an overturned vehicle and several slide-offs due to icy road conditions.
A winter weather advisory for hazardous winter weather is effective from 1 to 7 a.m. Thursday.
A light wintry mix and strong north winds are expected to develop after midnight and continue into the early morning hours.
Snow accumulations will range from a trace to perhaps a few tenths of an inch across Russell and Lincoln counties.
Ice accumulations from light freezing rain or freezing drizzle may create ice on roadways and elevated surfaces.
Winds are forecast from 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
Hail was reported Wednesday afternoon at 0.88-of-an-inch five miles south of Ellsworth at 2:36 p.m. and five miles north of Salina at 2:38 p.m. Rice County reported 3/4-inch hail in Lyons at 2:15 p.m. hail was reported at 3/4-inch four miles northeast of Hutchinson.
Overnight reports indicated 1/4-inch hail at Pawnee Rock and the west side of Great Bend at 1:40 a.m.
hail ranged from 3/4-inch in Barber County to 1-inch hail in Pratt, Comanche and Kiowa counties, according to reports filed to the National Weather Service in Dodge City.