WICHITA, Kan. - About 1,500 Westar Energy customers in central Wichita endured a cold night, as they lost electric service for more than four hours.
"I noticed that there was no power on, and it was cold in my house and I was like what's going on," said resident Tamara Gutierrez.
The power went out during the 1:00 a.m. hour in an area along McLean, roughly from Central to Maple. For homes with electric heat, the outage was especially difficult as temperatures dropped into the mid-teens.
"There are 4 children from the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years with no heat. Absolutely ridiculous," one woman wrote on the KAKE-TV Facebook page.
We found a Westar repair crew during the outage at Second and Osage. The utility explained a power line fell, perhaps stretched and cracked by the cold weather. Then a second, still undisclosed problem developed.
"The cold can sometimes cause the lines to get stiff and tighten up, which can effect other pieces of equipment," said Westar Spokeswoman Erin La Row.
The power was restored shortly before 6:00 a.m. It was just in time for morning commuters, as several traffic lights near downtown Wichita were out as well.
Only hours before the outage, Westar announced it was sending a repair crew to Muskogee, Oklahoma because of damage from winter weather.