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Archive for Friday, August 19, 2011

About 100 Douglas County Westar Energy customers still without power

Richard Wyrick, who works for High Plains Tree Service, talks about the overnight storm that left damage in the Lawrence area. Strong winds and hail were reported with the storm. It dropped nearly 1.5" of rain.

August 19, 2011, 9:26 a.m. Updated August 19, 2011, 9:30 p.m.

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Richard Wyrick cuts away a large section of a tree on Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, that went through the roof of a front porch in North Lawrence during overnight storms. High Plains Tree Service employees, like Wyrick, were busy Friday cleaning up damage from the storms.

Richard Wyrick cuts away a large section of a tree on Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, that went through the roof of a front porch in North Lawrence during overnight storms. High Plains Tree Service employees, like Wyrick, were busy Friday cleaning up damage from the storms.

A map of power outages Douglas County as of 9:25 a.m. According to Westar Energy, about 1700 people are currently without power.

A map of power outages Douglas County as of 9:25 a.m. According to Westar Energy, about 1700 people are currently without power.

Kansas weather updates, via Twitter

9:29 p.m. update

Nearly 24 hours after a storm worked its way through Douglas County, more than 100 county residents are still without power. The outages are scattered throughout the area, and restoration will continue on a neighborhood or individual basis.

4:15 p.m. update

As Friday wraps up, more than 600 Douglas County Westar Energy customers are still without power.

The outages cover the entirety of the county and are in very small clusters. Westar said most of the power restoration that remains will be on either a neighborhood or individual house basis, which is why it will take so long to complete.

Fewer than a dozen Kansas City Power & Light customers in Douglas County, mostly in the far south areas, were still without power as of 4 p.m.

2:45 p.m. update

Among sites still without power: The Clinton Lake Softball Complex and the Youth Sports Complex, both at the southwestern edge of Lawrence.

Lawrence Parks and Recreation sent out an email alert Friday afternoon, noting that overnight storms had left both sites without power. Friday night's adult softball games at the Clinton Lake Softball Complex have been canceled; while kickball games that had been scheduled for Youth Sports Complex had been relocated to Holcom Park.

2:06 p.m. update

As of just after 2 p.m. on Friday, the number of power outages in Douglas County has declined below 1,000 for the first time.

Westar says 932 customers are without power, though some of those still without power may still not have power until Saturday. Westar says the hardest hit areas have been Leavenworth, Lawrence, Shawnee and Topeka.

Leavenworth residents should all have power back on Friday, Lawrence and Shawnee should have power back by Saturday and Topeka should have power back on Sunday.

12:20 p.m. update

Westar crews are working around Lawrence to try and get power restored. Shortly after 11:30, about 300 customers got their power back.

As of 12:15 p.m., 1,295 customers were still without power in Douglas County. They're spread across the county, though there are clumps along and south of 23rd Street.

In addition to Westar customers, about 100 KCP&L customers in Douglas County are also without power at this time.

Check back for updates.

11 a.m. update

As of 11 a.m., the number of Westar Customers without power remains at more than 1700 — 1,723 to be exact.

A Westar Energy spokesman said on Twitter this morning that it may be late Saturday before all Lawrence residents regain power.

And the numbers appear to going in the wrong direction. But, according to Westar crews in North Lawrence, crews are being brought in from other areas to help restore power.

Also, the City of Lawrence on Friday issued a statement with options residents have for disposing of limbs and other storm-related debris.

According to the city:

"The city’s Wood Recovery and Composting Facility, located at 1420 E 11th Street (two blocks east of 11th and Haskell), will be open on Saturday, August 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accept brush or tree limbs. The cost for disposal is $5 per truckload."

Residents can also have debris picked up during Monday's yard waste collection, if it can be put into a compostable bag or some cart. Large limbs, "not to exceed five-feet in length or 18-inches in diameter and not weighing over 65 pounds, can be put into bundles and placed out with regular weekly pick-ups.

Check back to LJWorld.com for updates.

9:26 a.m. update

More than 1,500 Douglas County Westar Energy customers are still without power after last night's storms.

Nearly 1.5" of rain were reported in Lawrence from Thursday through Friday morning.

All around Lawrence, tree limbs were down, likely a major cause of the power outages. While the outages are scattered across Douglas County, there's a heavy band of outages stretching from the vicinity of 33rd and Iowa northeast toward 15th and Haskell.

There's no immediate word on when power would be restored.

Check back to LJWorld.com for updates.

Comments

jackpot 3 years, 4 months ago

"33rd and Iowa northwest toward 15th and Haskell." Did Haskell move west of Iowa? It was east of Iowa.

Laura Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

There's a bunch to the northwest of that locale too, including me, if you look at the Westar outage map. At least the numbers are going down slowly. Maybe by the time I get home this evening my power will be back on and my frozen foods won't have melted.

waka3 3 years, 4 months ago

dude froozen food isnt good for you

Laura Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, that has SO much to do with the issue at hand, doesn't it? And how do you know what I have in my freezer? Who are you to say it's not good for you just because it's frozen? Not everything in a freezer is processed foods.

UfoPilot 3 years, 4 months ago

Some of the weather stations were reporting gusts up to 77 mph ahead of the rain last night!

Bob_Loblaw 3 years, 4 months ago

Being a true monopoly has its perks.....you always collect $200....whether you pass GO or not. Especially true if you play with the Wittig piece (top hat?) instead of the iron.

clovis_sangrail 3 years, 4 months ago

I can see the press release now blaming it on salamanders driven up into the power lines by the wind and rain.

Kontum1972 3 years, 4 months ago

do we get a discount on our next bill?

UfoPilot 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes you do, You don't pay for electricity that you don't use...

stopit 3 years, 4 months ago

I think we should get a discount. They are suppose to provide a service and they are not fulfilling their obligation.

BigAl 3 years, 4 months ago

Not funny. Those of us in business that had no power, no phones and no computers for several hours lost a HECK of a lot more than $.001. Remember, if you don't pay them, they pull your meter. If they cost you money, tough.

todayiwill 3 years, 4 months ago

How are they not fulfilling their obligation? They are providing service. Do you really think that it is their fault that the storm moved in, blew trees all over the place, and it knocked out the power? Give me a break. Obviously you have nothing better to do with your time then blame other people. And guess what, you are not getting a discount on your next bill because of mother nature. Things happen to the power lines and it's no one's fault. My dad works for Westar and he does an amazing job and guess what....he is the one that is working out in the storm to take care of YOU and YOUR FAMILIES. I don't see you out there working......

Jstanobservation 3 years, 4 months ago

Its a good thing none of you lame whiners live in Joplin Mo.

Sigmund 3 years, 4 months ago

clovis_sangrail (anonymous) says… "I can see the press release now blaming it on salamanders driven up into the power lines by the wind and rain."

Normally I would sympathetic as Westar service used to go out with the slightest breeze or drizzle of precipitation. However, just under 50,000 KCPL customers are without power this morning after storms in KC. I am willing to cut Westar some slack in this instance and under these circumstances. http://www.kmbz.com/pages/10678664.php?contentType=4&contentId=8770402

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

It wasn't that bad of a storm. No wind damage in my neighborhood yet no power at my house since 11 pm last night.

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you regularly trim your trees in your neighborhood? New construction? Keep the trees trimmed appropriately. I grew up in Central KS and maintain a home there. We commonly have 50 - 70 mph winds and an occassional 90+ straightline wind......never had a problem with electricity being out except for severe ice storms in late fall.

windex 3 years, 4 months ago

This must have been one of those storms that varied a lot from one place to another. Where I live the winds were ferocious and we were all up - no way could you sleep through it. Patio furniture flying around, trash cans blown away, windows flexing and bowing.

guess_again 3 years, 4 months ago

both love2bike and clovis say it was not a bad storm. That's just stupid,.

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

No damage in the neighborhood, empty buckets not moved, didn't even hear the storm. 70 mph wind is common in parts of the state (assuming we actually had 70 mph wind). I've seen far worse.

clovis_sangrail 3 years, 4 months ago

It was pretty much the same as for love2bike at my house -- leaves whipped up and a bit of small windfall kindling that I have to pick up before I mow. My lot is heavily wooded with lots of tall trees on the north side of the lot, as are all on my street, and nothing came down as big around as a pencil.

Customer service last night was non-existent, despite Westar having ample notice that this storm was on its way.

What do you get when you combine a third-rate infrastructure with crappy customer service? Apparently, the answer is 'Westar'.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

I wish we could somehow pry the $millions that Lake and Wittig just sucked out of Westar, and divide it equally among all the linemen now working overtime to get the power back on-- you know, the ones who actually deserve to get paid.

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

I just love their motto..."doing what it takes to keep the lights on" when the electricity on my block goes out an average of once per week.

guess_again 3 years, 4 months ago

30% of Topeka has no power this morning. 50,000 in KC are out. Lawrence was lucky.

rumor_man 3 years, 4 months ago

Lawence pays its bills. KC & Topeka don't.

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe Westar should start trimming the trees out of the power lines like they are supposed to be doing. Just a thought.

weedwacker 3 years, 4 months ago

Still no power at my house. South of Lawrence 2 miles. And I would agree...the storm was not that bad out by my house. The wind was sure not 70 mph, so why do we have no electricity and in town where there are trees and limbs down everywhere....there is electricity?

rumor_man 3 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps it's because you live "2 miles south of Lawrence" and not in Lawrence. Just a thought.

love2bike 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm in town, no damage, no electricity.

kufan8808 3 years, 4 months ago

You're neighborhood isn't the only one in town. I'm glad there wasn't any damage to you're property but it doesn't mean there wasn't elsewhere. Id say those were the worst winds we have had since the microburst. Yes, It was bad. Everything in my yard was all over the place and large branches were down in the street. I don't know if you looked outside at all or opened your door but it was insane. I know someone who had a large oak fall into their window. Your comments are getting a little... just sayin. Topeka didn't even go to school today so we did much better. Or you know, maybe Topeka and KC don't trim their tree limbs either. Complaining does nothing. They're working hard.

rumor_man 3 years, 4 months ago

I hate the fact that my power is still out. I'm unable to post anything here until it's back on. Hopefully I'll be able to post again later today.

rumor_man 3 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if Motel 6 still has its lights on?

rumor_man 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm posting like HollisBrown....a...lot....

LHS56 3 years, 4 months ago

The storm was bad in my area. I would guess the winds were 50 to 70 mph. There was one tree down and a number of large limbs down. And yes....we were without power for a period of time last night. But..... Westar did cut back the trees this summer along our power line. I'm sure this was a major factor in not losing power for a longer period (as we did prior to the "trimming..") Also, on the positive side, the 1 1/2 inches of rain were a blessing. Hopefully this will cut down on the broken water lines and add some moisture around our home's foundation. We needed the rain! The storm? Hey...we live in Kansas.

bmwjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I had power all day... Until 30 minutes ago. 6th and Kasold.

jayneway 3 years, 4 months ago

Same here. Power went out about 2:30 just northwest of 6th and Kasold.

usnsnp 3 years, 4 months ago

Another thought, wonder how many of the trees that come down belong to the city especially in the Older Neighborhoods. There are large number of trees in the city right of way that should be taken down because they have become too big or sick. This problem has been overlooked for a long time.

cj123 3 years, 4 months ago

We lost power about 11 last night and we still have no power. Just called Westar and they said it will be on in 1-2 days. I live about 4 miles south of Lone Star lake.

cummingshawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Fortunately my power has stayed on through all the high breezes. I do wonder what the future holds in store for our eventual conversion to a deregulated electrical industry. Who will be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure that enables delivery to our homes and industries? If you liked the phone company break-up, you'll just love the deregulation of the electric companies!!!

kernal 3 years, 4 months ago

I cannot remember the last time so many people blamed someone else for Mother Nature's hot flashes.

melott 3 years, 4 months ago

Actually, Westar only trims trees every 7 years. This is their cycle--I found out from them. Power glitches are becoming more and more common. Every time it happens, report it to them. Also report it to the state: http://www.kcc.state.ks.us/pi/complaints.htm

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