KCP&L targeting Thursday to have majority of customers' power restored

Utility prepares as additional wintry weather in forecast

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 15, 2019 – More than 160,000 customers have had their power restored since Saturday’s Winter Storm Gia moved slowly through the Kansas City area, blanketing the city with up to 11 inches of wet, heavy snow. With more than 180,000 power outages affecting customers through Tuesday morning, KCP&L says it is the third worst storm in company history. Additional line crews from utilities in Arkansas and Wisconsin will join in power restoration for KCP&L customers on Tuesday. More than 2,000 utility workers are in the field Tuesday restoring the remaining 2,500 individual outage tickets. Approximately 19,000 customers remain without power.

Snow is in the forecast for the upcoming weekend. KCP&L is monitoring how weather conditions could affect service, including the possibility of keeping some crews that are assisting with current power restoration on site.   

“We will continue to keep an eye on the weather predictions as the week unfolds,” said Bruce Akin, vice president, distribution operations. “We are working with the other utilities who sent crews to assist with our storm restoration effort. Utilities are looking at the path of the weekend storm and assessing whether they are able to keep their crews in the Kansas City area.”

The storm initially left more than 110,000 KCP&L customers without power. More than 180,000 power outages occurred through Tuesday morning, with some customers losing power more than once. KCP&L crews began restoring power as the storm began Saturday morning. The snow clung to tree limbs and powerlines, weighing them down, causing significant tree and wire damage and resulting in power outages.

Tuesday, more than 2,000 linemen, tree trimmers, engineers and support staff will be working to restore power. KCP&L crews have been joined by crews from Westar Energy, Kansas; Midwest Energy, Kansas; Mid-American, Iowa; Ameren, Missouri and Illinois; City Utilities-Springfield, Missouri; Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska; AEP-SWEPCO, Louisiana; AEP-PSO, Oklahoma; Alliant Energy-IPL and Alliant Energy-WPL, Iowa and Wisconsin; Liberty Utilities-Empire District, Missouri; Capital Electric, Arkansas; and Madison Gas and Electric and WE Energy, Wisconsin to help restore power. Utilities have a practice of sharing crews when large storms hit areas to enable them to grow their work force and respond to the urgent need. Line contractors and tree trimming contractors are assisting as well.

With the extended outages and cold temperatures, warming centers are available in some communities. A list of warming centers is available from the United Way of Greater Kansas City online or by calling 2-1-1.

Current outage locations and numbers are available on the KCP&L outage map (outagemap.kcpl.com). Outages may be reported online at KCPL.com and at 1-888-LIGHTKC (888-544-4852).

About KCP&L and Westar Energy:

Serving approximately 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company and Westar Energy are the electric utilities of Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG). Together we generate nearly half the power we provide to homes and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work, and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions.

Contacts – Media:
Gina Penzig
Manager, media communications
Phone: (785) 575-8089
Gina.Penzig@westarenergy.com

Media line: 
(888) 613-0003