Back-to-back weekend storms leave some metro residents with lingering power outages

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thousands of customers still don't have power following back-to-back weekend storms. Their patience is tested as they prepare to spend another night in the dark Monday evening.

Utility companies says they're doing everything they can to restore power. FOX 4 has heard from folks who say they've never waited so long for power to be restored following spring storms. Others are making the most of their situation, as KCP&L explains reasons for the delay. Weekend storms have left behind plenty of debris, and trees falling on power lines leading to lots of frustrating outages.

“You`ve got to do, what you`ve got to do. Can`t wash the dishes. Can do laundry. Can`t run the AC,” said Larry Garrison.

“I can`t iron my clothes unless we have the generator hooked up, so going to work, that`s kind of one thing that I think about. Also food is another thing. We can`t use our stove,” said Tabitha Spence.

“Doing alright, just not fun not having internet and things like that," said Caleb Spence.

For the most part, folks in one Raytown neighborhood are taking the outage in stride. They are also relying on generators to help them feel some sense of normalcy.

"I’ve got TV running off the generator so I`m happy. I’m not bored. The only thing I can`t do is get my garage door open to go for a motorcycle ride,” said Garrison.

With such a massive outage, KCP&L says it can't give a timetable for when all the power will be restored. The power supplier had as many as 95,000 customers without power, and not just here in the metro.

“We serve up to Iowa, almost to Springfield over in Kansas to Ottawa and Paola and over almost to Boonville, and we had customers out all over that territory," said Chris Kurtz, senior director of operations for KCP&L.

FOX 4 heard from Kurtz, as crews were working to restore power in a Kansas City neighborhood. He explained other challenges crews are running into.

“A lot of our infrastructure are poles and wires in backyards, and so instead of pulling up in a bucket truck and zipping up there and dealing with the situation, you have to climb a pole. That just takes a lot longer to do and that just slows us down,” said Kurtz.

KCP&L is getting help from Westar Energy crews, some crews across Missouri, and some in other states. Crews urge more patience as they work to get everyone’s power back on.

"We`re going to get to you. We`re going to get there, but it may still be a little while before we do that, as we continue to get to these larger outages,” said Kurtz.

KCP&L also says each outage is different, and they won't know exactly what it takes to restore power until they show up and see what damage has been caused.

A Board of Public Utilities spokesman says they are down to just about 400 without power as of Monday afternoon, and ran into lots of downed poles which are very time-consuming to repair. FOX 4 has heard back from Westar, which has a handful of outages left after replacing 50 poles. We did not hear back from Independence Power and Light.

KCP&L usually only have about 350 linemen. With help from other power companies and out-of-state crews, they have 1,100 people working to restore power. Their first priority is critical areas like hospitals, pumping stations, and police stations. Crews then move to places where they can get the highest number of customers restored the quickest. Then comes the individual single-family home outages.



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