Wind storm knocks out 3 miles of power lines in Hutchinson

Power has been restored to almost all of the Reno County residents without power after Friday night

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HUTCHINSON -- Power has been restored to almost all of the Reno County residents without power after Friday night's storms.

There were around 1900 customers without power on Friday. Westar Energy crews have worked around the clock to knock that number down to twelve, but those customers will have to wait a few more hot days.

Friday night's fierce winds knocked down three miles of power lines along Highway 50 East in Hutchinson. Patrick Lichti said he's never experienced any storm like it.

"Not that bad," said Lichti. "We've had several ice storms in the past that have caused damage to the trees and the power lines and stuff like that, but not wind as far as that goes."

The poles on his property are now laying on his crops, but where the power lines crossed caused the biggest problem.

"The power lines fell and they blocked our driveway so of course with power lines there, electricity running through them, you can't get in and out," said Lichti.

Westar Energy crews are working to remove more than 60 broken poles from fields as well as downed power lines that landed on trees.

"This is as bad as it gets you've got poles broken for 3 miles," said Mike Bowers of Westar Energy.

The goal is to get the power lines and poles replaced as quickly as possible to provide energy for the twelve customers going without, but a huge mess remains.

"We have trees, we have debris that needs to be cleared and it takes specialized equipment to work with such high tension wires and heavy loads," said Bowers.

Since the group of customers without energy is only a dozen, Westar Energy is offering generators to the family's struggling without power. Lichti expects to get his on Sunday.

"It will be nice to make sure the refrigerators and the deep freezers running and hopefully some air conditioning that'd be great. And water of course. With well water out in the country, not having power is a big deal."

Bowers said these customers should have power by Monday or Tuesday. Crews will continue to work through the night.

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