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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 1/8/2008 (Entered as : 01/08/2008)
Reported: 1/18/2008 10:09:31 AM 10:09
Posted: 1/21/2008
Location: Wichita (Goddard & Towns West), KS
Shape: Other
Duration: morning
Characteristics: There were electrical or magnetic effects
Power outages darken west Wichita and points west on the morning of January 8, 2008

The Wichita Eagle - Power outages darken west Wichita and points west More than 14,000 Westar customers lost electricity in Wichita on January 8, 2008. Goddard and other towns west of the city this morning because of what Westar officials are calling "a transmission event" at the utility's substation in west Wichita.

"We don't know for sure exactly what happened," Westar spokeswoman Erin La Row said Tuesday morning. Reports of multiple transformers blowing at Westar's substation at 226 N. Hoover may not be accurate, La Row said. "It's been described as a 'transmission event,' " she said, though she could not provide more details yet.

Widespread power outages were reported west of Ridge Road in Wichita, as well as in Goddard, Garden Plain, Cheney and Pretty Prairie, she said.

The outages are affecting homes, businesses and schools, officials say.

At least four schools in USD 259 lost electricity and went to backup generators, district spokeswoman Susan Arensman said: Peterson Elementary, 9710 W. Central; Wilbur Middle School, 340 N. Tyler; McCollom Elementary, 1201 Waddington; and Levy Special Education Center, 400 N. Woodchuck.

"We might have more schools" lose electricity as the morning progresses, Arensman said. "This thing is obviously changing as we go." "Pretty much all" of the traffic lights in northwest Wichita are not working as a result of the outage, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor reported. But traffic appears to be flowing smoothly despite the outages, Patrol West Bureau Sgt. Guy Schroeder said. Police have been sent to high-traffic intersections, he said, but no problems have been reported.