Power Outage Leaves Kansas Town in the Dark

November 01, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Just after 6:00pm Monday, the nearly 3,000 residents of Osage City, Kansas heard a loud noise like an explosion, just before power went out across the town.  The noise was a main transformer behind the city’s power plant blowing, causing the outage.

Without power, local businesses were forced to closer early, as Osage City resident Jennifer Hayes noted to WIBW reporters in the dark.  “They couldn't sell us anything because they were closed, no power," she said. 

Information about the cause of the outage or restoration estimates was hard to come by with the entire town having lost electricity.  Fortunately, mild weather with temperatures in the low 60s meant children and parents could enjoy each other’s company outdoors, even as darkness struck, with the aid of portable lighting sources, including mobile device screens.

Fortunately, with a relatively small population, crews worked diligently to hook op generators to the power plant, and most customers had power by 11:00pm.  The main power grid was back to normal operation, with the transformer repaired, by 4:30am the next morning.

For businesses, though, the outage represents more than an inconvenience – it poses a threat to their ability to function, especially if they haven’t installed power protection systems designed to guard against excessive power fluctuations that can happen with outages.  Power protection systems are designed to not only deliver backup power through their UPS capabilities, but to regulate current to ensure consistent voltage is delivered to equipment.  Without power protection systems, spikes and surges can easily severe the tiny circuits that make servers, switches, communications systems, storage devices, and other technology function.   It’s the same logic behind consumers’ use of surge suppressors, but business equipment is significantly more expensive to repair or replace – even without consideration for lost business opportunity due to down time during the process – and should be supported by purpose-built protective measures.

Edited by Erik Linask