Lightning strike takes out Johnson County government services

Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 08:53:47-04

UPDATE: Lori Sand with Johnson County says that everything is up and running again as of Thursday morning.

Johnson County says a lightning strike that hit their main hub at 119th and Ridgeview in Olathe Tuesday night has temporarily knocked out several phone, email and internet lines.

Services were slower Tuesday at the county courthouse. 911 and emergency services remained in service as well, all because of a backup system.

The county isn't sure why their backup didn't work for the rest of their services.

"It worked for the vast majority of systems in the building ... and we'll find out what that was [the problem] and rectify it in the future. Right now we're just trying to bring everything back up," said assistant county manager, Joe Waters.

Of all services affected, the local Department of Motor Vehicles offices possibly felt the most affects from the lightning strike. Their outages forced them to turn away countless people trying to renew their vehicle registrations.

"It is a major inconvenience to come over here and find out they aren't even able to process a simple renewal," said Les Cook, who drove his ill sister to the DMV on Lamar Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

Other county services affected by the outage include: Waste water, human services, public services and mental health programs.

"We know it's unfortunate, particularly right here at the end of the month for many, we're still working to identify all the areas that were damaged and gradually bring them back up," he said.

The current timetable for when services can be fully restored is unclear.

The state of Kansas is allowing a 10-day grace period for those who tried to renew vehicle tags in Johnson County on Wednesday.

Their release read:

The Kansas Division of Vehicles is coordinating with law enforcement and the Johnson County Treasurer’s Office to offer a 10-day grace period for people who are not able to complete their in-person transactions with the county because of the weather-related outage.

This includes services such as tags, 60-day title or other motor vehicle paperwork with an Aug. 31 deadline.



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