Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Missouri’s low level KOs power generating

December 20, 2000


— An ice jam and the continuing effects of drought have caused the Missouri River to drop, knocking out a power plant here.

The drop affected electric power and water utility operators throughout the Kansas City area, but only one shut down.

The Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities closed the Nearman Creek Power Plant Thursday after the river stage fell below the facility's intake level.

On Monday the river stage dropped to 3.8 feet on the Hannibal Bridge gauge north of downtown Kansas City, Mo., said Tom Harris, a hydrologist technician for the U.S. Geological Survey office in Independence, Mo.

The previous low was 6 feet, recorded Feb. 9, 1989. The river's normal stage for this time of year is 8 to 9 feet, Harris said.

The BPU was operating with about 40 percent of its generating capacity, said Leon Daggett, general manager. It contracted to buy power from other utilities to handle its needs for the rest of the week.

Jody Farhat, a hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Neb., said the water stage should go up at least for a while. Frigid conditions with high winds will cause another drop, she said.

"It looks like Kansas City will recover ... over the next several days, but another dip will be coming through after that," Farhat said.

The BPU's Quindaro Plant also is operating at less than full capacity. A blowout in a pollution control device earlier in the year shut down one of its electric generating units.

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