Storms blamed for power outages in Marion County

Damaging winds and lightning Aug. 11 played havoc with a high-voltage transmission line running from Emporia to Newton, causing outages not only in Hillsboro, but other areas of Marion County.

Hillsboro was without electricity from about 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. as crews from Westar Energy searched the line to restore power.

Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine said lines on the cross-arm?the part that supports insulators and conductors?shorted out the section from Emporia to Newton.

?Westar was able to reset the line from Emporia to Florence from their control center,? Paine said.

The reason it took longer to restore power in Hillsboro, he said, was because crews had to drive the line from Florence west to find the problem spot.

The transmission line affected was 115,000 volts, according to Paine.

Putting that voltage in perspective, a house runs on a 120-volt line, meaning the Westar line was transferrring extremely high voltage to other substations.

Outages on Thursday

The two outages at 4 p.m. and again about 4:30 p.m. Thursday were connected to Wednesday?s problem, Paine said.

?Because of the problem Wednesday,? he said, ?power for Hillsboro was being generated from Emporia (rather than Newton).?

With the added pull on the network, a breaker popped after becoming overheated.

Paine said Westar Energy crews were working to get Hillsboro and other towns usually served by Newton back online sometime Friday.

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