KCMO leaders, KCP&L address problems from Friday morning’s storm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City and metro utility companies are calling all hands on deck to put the pieces back together after a storm that left heavy damage in its wake and downed trees. City officials say this is the worst storm that’s hit KCMO in 13 years, with more than 40,000 damaged trees. The cleanup effort is not just in Kansas City, but across the metro.

The storm wasn’t a tornado, but officials say it’s the worst Kansas city has seen in more than a decade. The city’s 311 call center brought in extra staffers Friday to help field the thousands of calls.

“At one point we had 100 people waiting to get through here,” City Manager Troy Schulte said. 1,500 workers in the field, city cleanup crews, and a partnership with Kansas City Power and Light are working to restore things back to normal, according to Schulte.

“KCP&L is working as hard as they can to get power back on,” Schulte said.

KCMO’s 311 Call Center will stay open until at least 7 p.m. Friday, maybe later if calls keep coming in, click here for info about call center hours, storm clean up, and hours/info for leaf and brush drop off sites. Those drop off sites are at the following locations:

  • 1815 N. Choteau Trafficway
  • 11660 N. Main Street
  • 10301 Raytown Road

If you're looking for shelter, the American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at the Gregg Klice Community Center at 1600 Buck O'Neil Way. They can be contacted at (816) 784-1135.

FOX 4 spoke with Joyce McNeal, who was one of more than 110,000 people without power Friday.

“We were all out at about 1:30 this morning, just all out on our porches. No power and the line was live. I didn’t want to come back here and risk getting electrocuted," she said.

Tree branches and limb are new additions to her backyard landscape.

“They have to get all this cleaned up first so I’m just patient.” Pointing at the damage, she said, “To wake up to this; I didn’t even know it was the tree. I just thought we were in a tornado.”

Lineman and power crews made repairs all day Friday. By mid-afternoon, more than half of the outages were fixed, but for those still waiting, KCP&L asks that you pack your patience.

“We are very sorry when people have to be out of power, obviously. We understand that people have their lives they want to get back to living,” KCP&L Marketing Director Chuck Caisley said.

Living, with electricity, is exactly what McNeal hopes to do as soon as possible. In the meantime, she said she’s wait and focus on the storm’s silver lining.

“It’s just the daily normal things that you need electricity for. The good thing is it’s not hot today,” she said.

KCP&L said the east side of the metro was hit hardest, as well as south Kansas City, and also up 71 Highway into Blue Springs. At about 5 p.m. Friday, there were still more than 50,000 people without power. KCP&L said some of those outages could last until Sunday.