KSN questions Westar about Sunday’s power problems

WICHITA, Kansas – Thousands in Wichita were without power Sunday, and some were even left in the dark until past noon Monday.

On Sunday, temperatures in Wichita reached 102.

When people needed power the most, Westar wasn’t able to deliver.

“Power can be interrupted for any number of reasons a lot of time, it is weather or storms, but you know equipment does have a lifespan, it does alter due to load or due to any number of issues it can fail, and it does,” said Nick Bundy, Westar.

The failure left 12,000 in Wichita without power, some into the afternoon hours on Monday. Officials blamed several factors on the outage.

“Part of what we were doing yesterday was performing routine maintenance, getting ready for when these kind of temperatures are more forecasted, so the setting a record in early May, we were taken a little off guard by the high temperature so early in the year,” said Bundy.

Even residents are concerned that hot temperatures shouldn’t be such a major issue especially with summer right around the corner.

“I know it’s been a lot hotter last summer for long periods of time so I’m not, I just don’t know what to think about that,” said John Musil, Wichita resident. “It doesn’t give you much confidence that they’ve got a handle on the problem.”

Officials say the problem has been solved.

They don’t expect issues to pop up in the future.

“The equipment that was not operational yesterday is back in place, and we feel confident that we should be able to meet loads today and tomorrow when it’s forecasted to be at 100 again,” said Bundy.

Officials said the big issue was with the circuit breakers. It created a domino effect so when one went down, the overload kept causing issues.

With the equipment in place, officials say all outages pertaining to that issue should be handled.

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