Power restored to Newton businesses Wednesday afternoon

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NEWTON, Kan. -- The City of Newton was left in the dark Wednesday.

Crews from Westar Energy worked into the afternoon, trying to fix an underground equipment failure.

"No lights. No electricity. Nothing," said Debby Stoddard, appraisal clerk with Harvey County.

Though court was still in session, most offices at the courthouse shut down due to the problem. The Newton Library and neighboring downtown businesses also had to close for the day.

"They come in. Some people have taken the day off to come in and do business and they can't do it because they're closed, so it does, it gets very frustrating for people," Stoddard said.

Some businesses, however, were able to make light of the situation.

Jeanette Friesen, co-owner of Miller Insurance, welcomed customers into her business.

"You'd like to have the computers to do your work because we work on computers all the time," she said. "We can carry on. If people call, we do have one phone that works so we can use that phone to take messages and call people back when we can."

Westar said about 30 customers were left without power for about five hours. It was restored by 1 p.m.

Friesen said she's grateful that throughout, her customers were understanding.

"Our customers are very gracious and accepting and understanding of the situation and so they're willing to wait while we make the phone calls," she said. "We appreciate that about our customers. They're very gracious."

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