The winter storms didn’t bring as much snow as predicted, but it did leave several residents in the dark.


The winter storms didn’t bring as much snow as predicted, but it did leave several residents in the dark.

The storms started out with a significant amount of ice before it turned to snow Saturday.

With the ice and snow came several power outages. By 9:30 Saturday morning, there were 3,500 Westar customers without power, and by 5:45 that evening there were 4,700 customers without power.

Weather and road conditions Saturday and the level of damage have caused Westar to refine its restoration estimate. The company expects to have most customers restored by late Monday night. Some customers may experience outages beyond Monday. Crews from western Kansas, Illinois and Missouri are being called in to assist with replacing damaged poles.

By 11 a.m. Sunday, there were still 3,000 Butler County residents without power.

In addition to those customers, around 200 Butler REC members were still without power as of Sunday night.

“At the peak of the storm we had approximately 3,500 members without power, with approximately 40 poles damaged and numerous miles of line down,” said CEO Dale Short. “Our crews have made a significant amount of progress to have that number down to about 200 members still without power.”

Butler REC’s linemen continue to work to identify the damage to their system and to restore service to their members. Six crews representing three electric cooperatives who were less affected by the spring storm six trucks to assist in the repair efforts. Aiding in the efforts are cooperative crews from DS&O, headquartered in Solomon; Bluestem Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Wamego; and Ark Valley Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Hutchinson. Early estimates have the damage to be at a minimum of $5 million dollars.