KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The power is restored to hundreds of thousands of Evergy customers across Kansas and Missouri after widespread high winds, but it may be Saturday before things return to normal for everyone.
At the height of the outage yesterday, Evergy said it had nearly 260,000 customers in the dark. As of Thursday afternoon, power had been restored to 90% of those impacted. There are still about 18,000 customers in Kansas and 11,000 customers in Missouri waiting for power to be restored.
Customers like James Goree hope his power is restored sooner than later. His lights went out around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“I couldn’t fix anything to eat because I usually eat later on in the evening, but the electricity was out. It was very cold in the basement because heat rises up,” Goree said.
A spokesman for Evergy said he knows it is a frustrating situation, but asked customers to have patience with crews.
“It’s probably easily in the top five, and certainly the biggest storm that we’ve experienced since becoming Evergy,” said Chuck Caisley, Evergy senior vice president and chief customer officer.
Caisley said about 1,100 employees worked throughout the night to restore power. Evergy also asked for help from neighboring utilities and reinforcements are arriving Thursday evening.
“When they get here, they will immediately begin to work, and others will wait to switch out with crews as they’re federally mandated hours of service,” Caisley said.
One of the biggest issues is that the damage is so widespread, according to Caisley.
“Unlike many storms where you have tornadic winds or thunderstorms or damage is more localized in a region of our service territory, this actually had a system that stretched from Nebraska all the way down to Oklahoma,” Caisley said.
Evergy said it plans to have crews work through the night, and possibly through Friday night, to get power restored to customers as quickly as possible.