Power out for southwest Missouri

The National Weather Service says extreme heat may have caused damage to a substation transformer that caused a large power outage in southwestern Missouri.

The outage hit Christian County customers of Empire District Electric Co. on Thursday afternoon. The company's outage map showed nearly 7,700 customers without power as of 7 p.m.

Empire District Electric said on its Facebook page that crews were bringing in a replacement, but customers were told the outage could last most of the night.

The outage affected communities including Ozark and Sparta. The area is located about 15 miles east of Springfield, where temperatures hit 97 degrees Thursday afternoon.