Westar Energy working to restore power after ice storm

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WICHITA, Kansas — Some Westar Energy customers woke up without power Wednesday morning after finding the pressure of ice had knocked down trees and power lines.

Westar Energy crews have been working all morning to restore services at one point to more than 2,000 customers across Reno, Harvey, and Sedgwick County.

It was a rude awakening Wednesday morning for one Westar Energy customer living in southeast Wichita.

“It just sounded like an explosion like a big noise,” said Gelane White. “I thought for a moment maybe the street was icy out front that maybe a car hit a house or something.”

Galena White woke up to find a massive tree that was just beginning to blossom down in her backyard.

“I just looked out the window and saw the whole yard filled with white bloom,” said White. “I realize I know the tree lost a big piece and fell on the line that’s between the house and the pole.”

White tells KSN News her family planted the Bradford Pear tree nearly 20 years ago.

Experts say these types of trees are prone to snapping and breaking especially during ice and snow storms.

“Ice is always a problem, ” said Leonard Allen, Westar Energy Senior Communications. “The ice storm of 2005 was a lot bigger, but this one I think we have a good handle on it. It’s going to take us a short amount of time.”

Westar Energy officials say the power outages started around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday.

The outages affected more than 1,500 customers Wednesday morning, by noon it dropped to 400 customers and since then has been fluctuating.

Crews say they’ve been working to restore power as soon as possible.

“They worked really quickly and they told me it’s possible that I might need an electrician,” said White. “They came in here and they cut some of the tree parts off of the line and apparently they put the line up and the electricity came on around 11.”

There are more than 2,600 customers without power as of 6:40 p.m.

Westar Energy doesn’t anticipate this outage lasting for a few days. They hope to have services restored by Thursday morning.

Click here to track the number of customers without power.

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