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Water and mud hamper power outage restoration efforts

On the afternoon of May 18 at about 2:20 p.m., TCEC members reported an outage in the Elkhart, Kansas, area. Personnel were dispatched immediately. Power came back on after the brief outage but TCEC employees continued to look for the source of the issue into the evening hours. The cause of the outage was a broken switch jumper on a high voltage transmission line that feeds the town of Elkhart. Unfortunately, the transmission pole was located in a low area that had accumulated several feet of water.

At 7 p.m. the broken jumper was located and the city of Elkhart was turned off for repairs to be made safely. After battling the water and mud Boise City and Keyes were turned off for safety.

“When working with the high voltage it was necessary to de-energize the feeds to Boise City and Keyes to guarantee the safety of TCEC employees,” said Lyle Mathis, TCEC vice president of Operations.

“We appreciated the support and understanding of our members during this outage,” said Chris Purdy, TCEC vice president of Member Solutions. “We encourage members who rely on power for their business or personal needs to consider a backup power source, such as a generator. If members do install generators, we ask that they work with an electrician for proper installation and notify TCEC for the safety of our employees.”

During large outages, TCEC posts updates to its Facebook and Twitter accounts online. To connect with TCEC, members can visit at

Photos are courtesy of TCEC employees Kiley Rice, Trevor Smith and Brent Herald.

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Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed to improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit

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