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Evergy 'on standby' to resume controlled outages

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 00:03:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy currently is "on standby" to resume controlled power outages in the Kansas City metro, according to a company spokesperson.

In a statement to 41 Action News, Evergy media relations manager Gina Penzig said the utility company is among those that the Southwest Power Pool asked to be prepared for possible power reductions overnight.

Outages likely would occur between midnight and 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to Penzig.

"We would have very little notice," she said, "and, until the call is received, we won't know how much reduction is required."

Evergy said in a tweet shortly after 10 p.m. that SPP's regional grid is now at a Energy Emergency Alert Level Two. If the grid reaches Level Three, that is when the controlled outages would begin.

In a series of tweets Tuesday night, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he is concerned about continued outages and encouraged residents to "be ready with extra blankets and warming items in your home" and check on friends and relatives.

"I share your frustration over the recent challenges with SPP and the national failure in cold weather response and preparation," Lucas said. "We will address those problems, but for now please help us ensure all remain safe through tonight and tomorrow and conserve energy as much as you can."

He also said those in need can visit the Scott Eicke Warming Center at Bartle Hall overnight.

KCMO mayor comments on controlled power outages

SPP released a video statement Tuesday night on Twitter in which Chief Operation Officer Lanny Nickell said this is the first time in the company's 80-year history that it has initiated controlled outages.

"These actions are only taken after all other options haven been exhausted," Nickell said.

He also said that SPP does not dictate which homes and businesses have their service interrupted.

It’s unknown at this time which areas could be affected, when they would be affected or how long the outages could last.

If implemented, this would be the third set of controlled outages since Monday. All have been initiated by the Southwest Power Pool.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.