Derby, Kansas Power Failure--Entire City Down - not Y2K... : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

post from Timebomb 2000

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Original question Subject: ***Power Failure; Entire City Down***

City of Derby, Kansas at 11:55am CDT. All power disrupted downing the entire city. Traffic lights, stores, gas stations, etc. City is about 8 minutes south of McConnell AFB in Wichita, KS. I had just stopped by to visit with my brother about 10 minutes prior to this event. As we were visiting EVERYTHING went down. It was funny in that we both looked at each other and at the same time said, "NO". Total disbelief because he reports power in Derby is very reliable and since he has lived there has not experienced this; even so much as a flicker.

A quick call to the City Hall gives us nothing but busy signals. Traffic lights down the street were dead. So, in light of this we decided to drive around and check things out. It appeared the only functioning business was Dillon's Food Store and they were on generator. Police were at every major intersection directing traffic because ALL traffic signals were out.

What really concerned us was the sight of the K.G.& E. vehicles traversing back and forth in no particular direction of travel. We figured by this they really had no clue as to why the system was down and were scrambling to find the point of interruption.

After some 30 minutes the local radio reports a public announcement of critcal importance to all listeners. A Police spokes person announced that ALL power to the City of Derby had been disrupted. She stated that there was no time frame for bringing things back online and COULD NOT give a reason for the disruption. She assured authorities were reacting and would remediate as soon as possible.

Power resumed at 1:25pm today. Still unknown cause. For verification of this I am providing numbers to City Hall and the P.D. non-emergency lines.

Derby Kansas City Hall 316-788-3132 Derby Kansas Police Dept. 316-788-1557

Very interesting indeed. I wonder how many Derby-ites were shaken from a light, non-event slumber ? (***grin***)

-- Rob (

-- (, January 05, 2000


Response to Power Failure--Entire City Down

I have verified this power outage with Derby's City Manager and with the media contact at Kansas Gas & Electric. A substation with 3 circuits went down. The cause has not yet been determined. The power loss impacted businesses and residents throughout the town of Derby, not beyond. I have a call in to KG&E's Director of Support Services, and will update GICC when more is known.

-- Jan Nickerson (GICC Electric Analyst) (, January 05, 2000.

Response to Power Failure--Entire City Down

Great followup job!!! Thanks!

-- Carl Jenkins (, January 05, 2000.

Response to Power Failure--Entire City Down

Derby power outage was NOT Y2K related.

Cylde Hill, director of support services, has been working with Y2K issues for Kansas Gas & Electric. In my call with him today, he reported that the Derby 90 minute power outage was attributable to a non-Y2K catastrophic failure of capacitor banks. He reports that over the years, the capacitor banks break down and can fail, as they did in this case.

He feels the public doesn't realize that 95% of electric power equipment in field doesn't have microprocessor; rather, they are electromechanical devices.

-- Jan Nickerson (GICC Electric Power Analyst) (, January 06, 2000.

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