Equipment Failure Causes Power Outage

Several traffic lights in the south one-half of Fort Scott were out, following the power outage Saturday afternoon. Pictured is the recently installed lights at 23rd and Main Streets.

A piece of equipment called a lightning arrester, failed Saturday about 3:30 p.m. in the southern part of Fort Scott and some rural areas south of town. Power was restored in stages between 5 and 6 p.m., according to Gina Penzig, media relations manager with Westar Energy.

“It was in a sub-station that serves Fort Scott,” Penzig said.

About 3,000 customers of Westar, were affected, she said.

Penzig encourages people while the power is on and the weather is fine to download the Westar app, mywestar and/or sign up for text alerts.

To register for text alerts on a mobile phone, text 97827 and send “reg”. Then if there is a power outage in the future, text to that same number and send “out” for the outage, she said.

Calling 1-800-544-4857 or 1-800-LIGHTKS is another way to tell of a power outage and a person can also go to and report it there, Penzig said.  Click “Outage Center” to see the map of the affected area and how to prepare for an outage.

“On the outage map, you can see if someone is on the way and an outline of the affected area and when electricity will be back on,” she said.

It is best to prepare ahead of time for power outages with a storm kit of bottled water, batteries, charging up a cell phone, and making sure flashlights are working, she said. For an extensive list of preparedness, see the website.

“For winter storms, we usually have advance notice of severe weather,” Penzig said.

If power lines are down, assume they are live and call 911, she said.

Check for damage to electric meter boxes and the power line that attaches to the house.

“If the damage is to those items, you may need an electrician before we can safely reconnect power,” she said.

Using the different messages received from Westar, “You will want to see if you should stay home or find shelter somewhere else she said. In addition, check on neighbors safety, she added.


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