Close to 400 New-Mac Electric Cooperative customers were without power beginning late Monday night into early Tuesday.
Josh King, marketing/public relations representative, said reports of outages began coming in about 11 p.m. Monday, and those increased as more powerful storms moved into the area overnight.
King indicated most the outages were due to wind damage, causing tree limbs to fall into lines. He reported that wind speeds in Newton County were measured at 70 to 75 miles per hour.
King said the outages were widespread across the county, with several customers affected in McDonald County. He noted there was a concentration of outages north of Wheaton, where a feeder line to a substation was lost for a time.
King said almost all New-Mac customers who reported outages early in the day were back on line by early Tuesday afternoon. He said some customers didn’t discover outages until after they returned home from work or school, so New-Mac personnel were still busy working on those into the early evening.
The Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the area’s official National Weather Service reporting station, recorded 3.34 inches of rain in the previous 24 hours Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Julie Maus, public relations, Empire District Electric, said just a few scattered outages were reported by customers in Neosho.
Maus noted that a total of about 7,000 Empire customers were affected, mostly in and around Joplin and in extreme northern Newton County, and several hundred customers were without power in Southeast Kansas. She said about 1,000 customers were still without service at mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Maus explained the outages were very scattered – due to very high winds and intense lightning. She advised that made it challenging for crews work through the storms to track down and get to the many individual outages.