KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From firefighters to power companies, crews on both sides of the state line are standing by ahead of Wednesday’s high wind warning.
Wednesday wind speeds are predicted to blow consistently at 35-45 mph, and gusts of 65 mph are possible. Jonathan Kurtz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said 65 mph is enough to potentially blow over a tractor-trailer, especially one that might be empty.
“You usually hear of these windspeeds with thunderstorms, but this will be the head of a system with really strong winds with this system,” Kurtz said.
Fire officials advise against discarding cigarettes from balconies or moving cars, and outdoor burning is a bad idea, too.
Kansas City Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said Wednesday might not be the best day for outdoor grilling, since even the smallest spark could be propelled by the wind. Firefighters often complain that one flames or embers from one burning home can easily blow into other structures, causing a larger fire.
“It doesn’t take much for it to burn and once it burns, the wind will pick it up and soon we have a fire. The number of problems we have by wind are more than I can count,” Walker said.
Evergy said it actively trims trees and other vegetation specifically for days that experience wind gusts like what is expected. The company also said keeping up with maintenance helps.
But even taking the precautions, Evergy said with 60 mph gusts, outages may still happen throughout the day Wednesday. Evergy said it has crews ready to respond if needed.
If you’re an Evergy customer and have an outage:
- Use your cell phone or tablet to report it online
- Call Evergy’s automated outage reporting by calling 888-544-4852
In Independence, the city’s Power and Light Department said it will also be monitoring the weather. It plans to send crews to outages and provide tree service as needed.
Independence Power and Light also shared these steps for customers to report outages and other power-related problems:
- Call 816-325-7550 to report the outage
- If you are calling from the phone number associated with your account the system will recognize your address. Otherwise you will need to enter your address or the phone number on your account.
- Your address will be added to the outage map. Outage locations are not exact on the map.
- A crew will be dispatched to assess and fix the problem.
- IPL recommends you select the option for a call back after crews have restored the power to ensure that crews have dealt with all the issues regarding your outage.
The Board of Public Utilities directed its customers to the company’s online outage map for help if the power goes out in Wyandotte County.