Sunday's Power Outage Likely Caused by Lightening Strike

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
May 09, 2016

Some McPherson residents lost power during Sunday night’s storm, though not for long.

BPU's General Manager Tim Maier updated the city commissioners this morning at their weekly meeting on exactly what happened and how quickly BPU was able to resolve the problem.

“We did have an outage last night,” said Maier. “It started at 2:54 and we got it back on at 3:44.”

The power outage affected portions of the city of McPherson in addition to some rural areas and was caused by breakers tripping in the refinery substation.

“We had three breakers really trip in the refinery substation,” Maier explained. “Two were in the 115 kV side, so we must have had lightening close in... and then the Eastmoor circuit, which really serves the south-central part of McPherson, that circuit tripped as well.

“So when the 115 kV breakers tripped, it also took the power source out to another [circuit] south rural,” Meier continued. “So we had those two circuits out for about 50 minutes.”

Maier emphasized that the cause for the power outage was probably entirely weather-related, and he was just glad the BPU workers were able to get the power back on again so quickly.

“We didn't find anything. Again, I'm sure it was lightening, just given the circumstances and the way things acted.

“We did get everybody back on last night, so thankful for that.”