ODESSA, Mo. — Several Evergy transmission lines are down in Odessa, Missouri, causing a citywide power outage, according to the Odessa Police Department.
This Lafayette County community has been without electricity Wednesday, on what may be one of the hottest days of the year.
Just after 9 p.m. the City of Odessa reported it was slowing bringing the system on line and some areas should be seeing power restored but it will take some time.
Just before 9:30 p.m. the city reported all circuits have been re-energized.
Witnesses claim they saw sparks and a brief fire at the city’s power substation just after 12:30 a.m. It shut down electric service to the entire community.
Police said they’re not sure what caused the outage, but the event caused damage to an Evergy substation.
“All of a sudden we just heard a big buzz sound and everything just went kind of crazy,” said Samantha Janes, who lives near the electric substation.
Crews are in the area working to assess damage and make repairs necessary to return power.
According to a statement from Evergy, at about 1 a.m., an animal got into an Odessa-owned substation, damaging equipment owned by the city and by the energy company.
“The explosion that occurred for it to have just been a raccoon, I can’t say yes or no yet. We don’t know. There was one off to the side,” City Administrator Nici Wilson said when asked by FOX4 whether a carcass had been found. “But again, it was still alive, so if it was really a racoon, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know with as much power that went through there that if it would have still been alive.”
A nearby Evergy-owned substation isolated from the power grid, but before it was isolated, a mile of Evergy transmission lines caught on fire. The damaged lines will need to be rebuilt and Evergy said it would be completed Wednesday evening.
Our crews have made temporary repairs to the substation so that when Evergy is able to get their lines back up, we can feed through the substation while we work to locate the necessary components for the permanent repair. we are in the process of generating an automatic call to all customers for those with no access to social media.Odessa Police Department
There is no estimated time for when power will return to the area, but police ask residents to plan on having the power out for a majority of the day.
Janes has been concerned about trying to stay cool when the heat index is expected to eclipse 100 degrees.
She borrowed a generator from her uncle because her mother is battling lung cancer and needs to breathe oxygen regularly.
“Last night it scared us a little bit, thank God we had a portable (oxygen) tank,” Janes said. “We can hook up power to have for the fridge, my mom’s oxygen tank, and some A/C units in the home to keep her comfortable. She got diagnosed with cancer last year.”
The city of Odessa also said they are unsure what caused the issue, but have opened a cooling station at New Horizons Presbyterian Church south of Odessa on MO-131, just outside of town..
We assure you that both the City of Odessa and Evergy are working diligently along with many of our partners to restore power as quickly as possible. With the heat expected today, public safety and the safety of our crews is of the utmost importance. Folks that are reliant on oxygen or other medical needs, please reach out to family or friends for assistance or use our cooling center during this time.City of Odessa
The city also said staff has been sent out to the community to help serve residents and while phone lines are down, some “sporadic rollovers are coming through remotely.”
They will continue to post updates on their Facebook page.
City crews have been joined by outside contractors and Evergy linemen. All are working to restore the electricity.
Parts of Higginsville and Concordia, Missouri, also experienced outages, but the Odessa Fire Department said power has since returned to those two communities.
FOX4 will update this story as details are confirmed and available.
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