Click HERE for the outage map.
Click HERE to find information on reporting an outage.
Click HERE for outage FAQ.
In Kansas, weather-related outages can occur during any season. Weather can create dangerous situations for all of us, including the FreeState Electric Cooperative line crews that are out working to get your power safely restored as quickly as possible.
How long does it take to restore power depends on several factors including the extent of the damage, the number of members in an outage, and safety of the crew getting to the outage area. We do all that we can to get the lights back on during severe weather, but here is a graphic from our partners at SafeElectric.org that explains the steps to getting power restored.
We do our best to communicate with our members when the lights go out. We will update the website, and our social media channels as soon as we have information we can pass along.
How can you help our line crew and keep your family safe during an outage? Here are some outage tips.
Be patient. Our crew and staff are working as quickly as they can to get your power restored. Sometimes the conditions they work in can be dangerous, and safety is a priority. Our crews will only work to restore power as long as it is safe to do so.
Report your outage. Call us as soon as the power goes out. Reporting your outage gives us the information we need to begin assessing the problem. During weather- related outages call volume can be high, so keep trying if you are not able to reach our office.
Stay clear from weather damage. If you see downed power poles or lines STAY AWAY from them. Call to report them, and return to your shelter.
By using a common sense approach, we can all stay safe during an outage.
What happens when an outage occurs?
Every report helps FEC know how large an area an outage covers, and allows diagnostic protocols to begin. This also starts the process of dispatching a crew to a location to begin repairs to damaged equipment and get the power back on as quickly as possible.
It typically takes 20 minutes for a lineman or crew to be en route to an outage. The lineman also has the authority to instruct the dispatcher to call in necessary assistance from another lineman.
When information is available, it will be given out as updates on our social media channels, and website. During larger outages, the news media may be asked to update members.
Why are my neighbor’s lights on, but I am in the dark?
Your home may be on a different distribution line than your neighbor. To handle the load neighborhoods, businesses, towns, and individual residences are powered by different lines, substations, and electric poles.
Why aren’t you coming to my residence first?
During a large outage, we do follow a standard protocol for restoring power quickly and safely.
Our priority in a major outage is emergency management. Restoring police and fire stations, and hospitals are a priority.
Transmission lines that carry electricity from generation stations are first on the list, followed by:
1. Substations where high-voltage power from a transmission line is reduced for member usage.
2. Distribution lines that carry electricity from substations to each neighborhood, or distribution hubs.
3. Tap lines the serve direct homes and businesses.
4. Individual lines to customers. These are the most challenging and time-consuming in the restoration process.
Above all, our crew safety is our first priority. FreeState will keep lineman from proceeding to restore power during severe lightning, or if a fire is in progress, or a gas leak is present. Once the situation is deemed safe, our crews will then proceed to restore the outage.
What causes an outage?
• Animals and trees making contact with wires can cause an outage.
• Other events like digging, construction or automobile accidents can cause damage to power poles or lines.
• Farm-related accidents can also cause outages.
• Equipment failure can also be a reason for an outage.
• An overload may also cause equipment to fail. We typically see these problems on extremely hot, or high peak days, during the months of May through September.
• Power supplier failure can cause outages on our line. We are reliant on Westar Energy, and if they experience major outages, those outages may affect our system.
How long does it take to restore power?
On average it takes about 45 minutes to repair a transformer, and an average of four hours to replace power poles depending on the type of pole. Smaller single phase poles take less time to repair than larger three phase poles.
Outages vary depending on the season and can last a few seconds or minutes, to hours. Power can also be out for days when the situation is severe. Our crews are often out in dangerous weather conditions to restore power to your home and business as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible.
How do we prevent outages?
While we cannot control weather or all circumstances, we can work to limit power outages by:
• Maintaining our equipment during planned outages
• Tree trimming to limit line damage
• Investing in new equipment and technology
• Employee training
• Built-in backups and stock materials for quick replacement