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Thunderstorms cause rash of power outages

(ran PC edition)

A lightning strike on an electrical circuit knocked out power for 594 customers of Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative in central Pasco County on Thursday. The bolt hit the circuit at 3:25 p.m., but the equipment didn't fail completely until 8:48 p.m., darkening homes in Lake Padgett Estates and Lake Padgett Estates East not long after sunset. Crews repaired the damage and restored electricity by 11:30 p.m. Storms also cut power for another 1,200 Withlacoochee customers in coastal northwest Pasco for 20 minutes Thursday afternoon. It was all part of some of the worst thunderstorms of the season, producing a couple of thousand lightning flashes per hour. "When you live in the lightning capital of the Western Hemisphere you're going to have some hits," Withlacoochee spokesman Ernie Holzhauer said Friday.

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