UPDATE: 169 Highway reopens after road closure

Storms cause power outages across the metro
Posted at 4:34 AM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 19:43:56-04

Powerful storms moved across the Kansas City metro on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, leaving many without power.

In Olathe, 19 utility poles came down during high winds on Highway 169. At about 4 a.m. on Thursday, crews were able to respond the area to start fixing the down poles.

Highway 169 was shut down from 159th to 175th Street while Westar crews worked to repair the utility poles. Westar said all power should be restored and 169 Highway reopened around 4 p.m.

It wasn't just a detour Olathe drivers were dealing with Thursday. They also had to withstand rain and fog.

Westar said that during the storm, more than 400 people were without power. As of 8 a.m. on Thursday, that number had dropped to 25.

Drivers had to take a detour around the affected portion of 169, driving through the rain and fog.

KDOT workers and state troopers were directing traffic at the affected intersection.

Scott Hildebrandt, regional director of operations for Westar is optimistic the power outages will be put to rest soon.

"We are 85 percent ready. We hope to be on by 2 or 3 o'clock," said Hildebrandt.

He continued to say that they have 15 crews (45 to 50 people) working around the clock.

A Johnson County emergency manager said all but a few power poles had been snapped.

"We can't get the poles any faster. We're getting these poles up in the air," explained Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt said Westar is also using other contractors.

Damage continues past Highway 169

A building for the Olathe girls softball Association near 167th street got hit with thousands of dollars in damage. The garage door is bent and the batting cage is pushed over. Shingles were also blown off the concession stand.

"Access to Loan Elm Park and its soccer fields is currently closed. We have road construction on one side, storm damage with power lines down. So we are giving everybody the heads up to not head out here right now," said Nichole Asquith, communications specialist for Olathe Parks and Recreation Department.

She said the KC Rush Soccer Organization also plays on their fields nearby, but it will be up to the coaches to delay, cancel or hold practices. Asquith said at the moment the fields are not all accessible.

Below is a list of reported power outages:

As of 7:15 a.m. on Thursday

  • Kansas City Power & Light is reporting that 86 customers are without power in Kansas and 138 are without power in Missouri.
  • Westar Energy is reporting that 25 customers are without power in their coverage areas.
  • The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is reporting that only 26 of their customers are without power.




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