KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After rolling power outages all across the Kansas City metro, many Evergy customers are still without power Tuesday night.
Gina Penzig, an Evergy spokesperson, said they know the company hasn’t met customer expectations during these blackouts. In an interview with FOX4 on Tuesday, she addressed several questions and frustrations.
“We in the outset tried to hold outages to less than an hour. And we had some rapidly changing conditions from the (Southwest Power Pool) about what level of interruption was going to be required,” she said.
So far on Tuesday, 270,000 Evergy customers have lost power due to blackouts, Caisely said. As of 5 p.m., less than 5,000 were in the dark.
So how does Evergy decide whose power gets shut off and whose doesn’t?
Penzig said the company uses software data to determine which areas to conduct the rolling power outages. It helps them avoid power outages in areas with critical buildings, like hospitals.
Customers across the metro also grew concerned as many homes had power restored, but others remained cold for hours on end.
“As we brought customers back on, we had some processes that we expected to be automated, to be able to work remotely, to turn equipment back on, that instead required crews to go out and do some physical manipulation or even repairs, in some cases, to bring power back up, she said.
With some outages lasting longer, there were also several complaints Tuesday about difficulties reaching Evergy online and by phone.
Penzig said due to the volume of customers calling or going to the website, many experienced issues with both platforms. She said the company is working on getting things back up and running and make improvements in the future.
“To customers who are able to conserve on the grid, we really appreciate those efforts and helps us doing this time with short energy,” she said. “To the customers who are without power, we appreciate any patience and grace you are able to extend because we know that power outages are inconvenient.”
More outages may happen again if the Southwest Power Pool determines the move is necessary to conserve power.
Senior Vice President Chuck Caisely said outages could be a possibility around 8 p.m. Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
“It’s minute by minute, and we aren’t out of the woods yet,” he said.