6,000 Manhattan residents lose power in latest bout of severe weather

Photo by George Walker | The Collegian Lightning fills the sky west of Manhattan late Aug. 31, 2014.

Thunderstorms impacted parts of northeast and central Kansas on Sunday night, delivering rainfall and power outages to Manhattan and the surrounding areas.

“We had approximately 6,000 customers (in the Manhattan area) that lost power as a result of last night’s storm,” said Gina Penzig, Westar Energy’s director of corporate communications.

Penzig said there were two large scale outages and a handful of smaller outages Sunday. The first large outage began at approximately 8:30 p.m. and affected about 2,000 customers. The second occurred at approximately 10 p.m. and affected approximately 2,600 customers.

Penzig said most of the outages, including the two more significant ones, lasted about an hour before crews were able to restore power. However, a few of the smaller outages lasted 2-3 hours in some cases, she said.

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued for northeast and east central Kansas. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for Manhattan starting at 5:34 p.m. and expired at 10:34 p.m. said Shawn Byrne of the Topeka, Kansas National Weather Service Station.

The storm provided 1.27 inches of rain to Manhattan at Manhattan Regional Airport, Byrne said. The storm came from a cold front in Nebraska that pushed into Kansas, and created a line of storms from Wichita up to the Kansas City metro area.

As of Monday evening, most of the power in Manhattan area had been restored, Penzig said.

Representatives for Mercy Regional Health Center, and Cox Communications were not available for comment Monday.

Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.