Archive for Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Power outage hits Tonganoxie

September 1, 2009, 2:45 p.m.

Updated: September 1, 2009, 4:25 p.m.

A squirrel was the cause for Tuesday afternoon’s power outage in Tonganoxie.

Erin La Row, spokesperson for Westar Energy, said a squirrel got into a primary power line, causing a fault and tripping a breaker at a Westar substation west of Tonganoxie.

Power to parts of Tonganoxie was out for more than 90 minutes. La Row said power went out around 1 p.m. and was restored about 2:40 p.m., affecting 868 customers, she said.

Among the affected customers were Tonganoxie Elementary School and Tonganoxie Middle School.

Tammie George, TES principal, said when the power went out it triggered the school’s fire alarm system. She said the building was evacuated and Tonganoxie firefighters inspected the building to make sure there was no fire before letting students return to their classrooms.

Jill Dickerson, TMS principal, said no fire alarms were triggered at her school and classes proceeded as normal during the outage.

As for the squirrel, La Row said she was unsure whether it survived the incident, but based on similar past experiences, the outlook was grim.

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