A lightning strike on a power transmission line was the cause of a 22-minute power outage affecting north Chillicothe on Friday evening.
A lightning strike on a power transmission line was the cause of a 22-minute power outage affecting north Chillicothe on Friday evening. Most areas north of Polk Street and up to the north city limits were without power when the lightning struck at 7:42 p.m. Power to Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium, where the Chillicothe Hornets had been playing their homecoming game, was also lost. The Hornets had just finished the first quarter when the game was suspended because of lightning. About 10 minutes later, the power outage had occurred. After almost an hour, the game resumed. Matt Hopper, superintendent of Chillicothe Municipal Utilities, said that the lightning strike affected substations near the armory and near Sonic, causing the power outage. There were isolated areas north of Polk Street that were not affected. At the time of the outage, the Chillicothe Fire Department received a call about a fire on the roof of the Hy-Vee Gas station. Dispatch stated that there were multiple calls on this and that a gas truck was off loading at the time. “A large lightning strike had just occurred moments before the call came in,” said Fire Chief Darrell Wright. Firefighters responded with an engine and tower truck. No fire or smoke was detected when they arrived at the scene. The truck driver had reported that when the lightning struck, it ignited vapor from the pipes in the rear of the building. “When he noticed it, he immediately shut down his truck and about 15 seconds later the flames were out,” Wright said.