June 24, 2013

Power restored for Westar customers; squirrel cause of equipment failure

Beware the mighty squirrel.

Beware the mighty squirrel.

Westar officials blamed the flitting furry rodent for an equipment failure that knocked out electricity to nearly 10,000 Westar customers for about 90 minutes Monday afternoon.

The outage occurred at about 1:50 p.m. and involved a large geographic area of south and southeast Wichita, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. The outage stretched from Kellogg to the interchange linking I-135 and I-235 and from Broadway to east of Woodlawn, according to an outage map on Westar’s website.

Westar spokesman Leonard Allen said the outage affected 9,900 customers. Power was restored to all but a few dozen customers by 3:30 p.m.

A squirrel trigged an equipment failure that led to the widespread outage, Westar posted on its Twitter account.

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