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August 7, 2014

Overnight storm delivers needed rain – but power outages, too

An overnight storm brought welcome rain to the Wichita metropolitan area, but it also delivered some unwelcome power outages.

An overnight storm brought welcome rain to the Wichita metropolitan area, but it also delivered some unwelcome power outages.

More than 2,800 Westar Energy customers in Wichita and the surrounding towns lost electricity for five minutes or longer at some point Thursday, Westar spokeswoman Erin La Row said in an e-mail. About a third remained without power in Sedgwick and Butler counties as the morning’s rush hour ended, with pockets of outages continuing across the area into Thursday afternoon.

Most customers has power restored by mid- to late afternoon, La Row said. The outages, she said, likely were the result of lightning and high winds.

“The storms caused a large number of scattered outages throughout Wichita, especially in the southeast part of the city,” La Row said.

“Multiple poles were blown down.”

Potent winds that pushed through the eastern edge of Wichita and Sedgwick County and the western edge of Butler County are to blame, National Weather Service meteorologist Robb Lawson said.

“We got some good rainfall out of this thing – especially for Wichita,” Lawson said.

The official recording station next to Mid-Continent Airport logged 0.89 of an inch, he said.

“But that was on the low end of what the county got,” Lawson said. “Some places got close to 2 inches in Wichita.”

The heaviest rain fell between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday, Lawson said.

“There was a lot of lightning, too,” he said.

McConnell Air Force Base in southeast Wichita recorded .94 of an inch. Northwest Wichita and other spots around the city reported 2 inches.

“It was a good rain,” he said. “We kind of needed it.”

Contributing: Amy Renee Leiker

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