Peabody loses electrical power for three hours because of high wind

For almost three hours late Thursday afternoon, the entire city of Peabody lost electrical power because of high winds.

According to Leonard Allen, a spokesman with Westar Energy in Topeka, weather caused the outage.

?We had 561 customers without power for 168 minutes and the cause was listed as wind-related,? he said. ?Usually this means some trees were probably blown into the lines with a fuse or something needing to be replaced.?

Randy Frank, Marion County Emergency Management director, was at the scene to assist where needed.

?City and county officials joined together in a unified command and activated portions of the emergency operations center in Peabody to evaluate the issue,? Frank said.

One of the concerns was the availability of oxygen bottles for residents in long-term care facilities and private homes.

Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft said a team of deputies was standing by to bring a 40-kilowatt generator for use if the power outage continued into the night.

Both Union Pacific and Santa Fe railroad officials were notified of the situation, Frank said.

Officials from both railroads decided to stop their trains three miles from town until the crossing lights were operating again, Frank said.

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke said he and his officer patrolled the streets of Peabody during the outage. They also con?tacted residents who were homebound on oxygen to ensure they had sufficient amounts.

Electrical power was restored at about 7 p.m., Allen said.

More information will appear in the Jan. 22 edition.

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