NewsLocal News


Thousands of Kansas City residents left in dark due to transformer failure

KCMO stoplight out due to power outage June 2022
Posted at 10:36 PM, Jun 13, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many neighborhoods south of the Country Club Plaza lost power on Monday afternoon, including residents in Waldo.

"It's starting to warm up in the house, it's not intolerable yet," Jim Grant, who lost power said.

KSHB 41 News caught up with Grant about an hour into the power outage that began around 3:45 p.m.

"We never had a flicker; we had happened to turn off the TV already. And I got a text saying, 'Your power is out,'" Grant said. "But we didn't have any lights on, we didn't need them. And the TV was off, so we didn't even know when it had gone off."

Grant and his grandson made the most of the sweltering afternoon, but they couldn't even go to get ice cream at Betty Rae's on west 72nd Street and Wornall Road who also got left in the dark.

"If it has a chance of going bad, we're going to we have a truck that will be able to safely transport the ice cream to our other location in River Market, where it'll stay in a currently operating freezer,” Everett Moore, an employee at Betty Rae's Ice Cream, said.

It's a contingency plan Grant wishes others would have as well.

"After what happened last year in in Texas, and in other parts of the southwest, they had the rolling power outages and it was really severe," Grant said. "Everybody should figure it out, we could be in trouble and do something to be prepared."

Evergy blames a transformer failure for Monday's outage that at its peak, left at least 11,000 customers in the dark.

The specific cause is under investigation, however Evergy believes the extreme heat and high demand played a significant role.

They got customers back and up running by rerouting electricity, but with so many people cranking up their air conditioners, they say that's easier said than done.

"And so just like a detour during rush hour is more challenging than a detour when traffic is light, when demand is high, it's a little it's more difficult to find alternate circuits to serve customers," Gina Penzig, manager of external communications at Evergy, said. "So it can take longer, before we're able to restore power."

Evergy claims they've taken measures to prepare their infrastructure for this summer's heat.

"Even with those precautions in place, these programs is in place, you do sometimes have instances like today where a piece of equipment does fail," Penzig said.

KSHB 41 News asked Evergy if it expects outages again this week.

"So we are watching the system closely, it is possible with continued high heat and high stress that we will have additional outages," Penzig said.

Evergy is asking customers to conserve energy between the hours of 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. when the demand is higher than usual.