Leavenworth residents complain of loud 'boom' sounds, ground shaking

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 00:05:05-05

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Loud explosions and shaking have startled Leavenworth County residents and led to numerous 911 calls and concerned posts on social media this week.

A high-power transmission line pole replacement project for Westar Energy is behind the sounds and shaking.

A spokesperson for the company told 41 Action News that the work requires controlled implosions to install fittings that hold the lines on poles.

Explosions and shaking from the project, however, have worried some folks this week.

“The whole house just randomly shook for maybe three seconds,” explained neighbor Jessica Schmalstieg, who lives around a mile from where the work is occurring. “You could feel the floor shake beneath you.”

Schmalstieg grew up in Leavenworth County and now lives on her grandfather’s property in the area.

Scenic sunsets and peaceful surroundings are the norm for her neighborhood.

However, this week’s developments marked a notable change to the peace and quiet.

“It was enough where my house shook and it unlatched my door,” explained Schmalstieg, who can see some of the new transmission line poles from her home. “It definitely makes you wonder what's going on. Is someone trying to break into my house? Did someone run into my house?"

Schmalsieg was not the only one who had concerns.

Multiple posts and comments could be found on Facebook from residents asking about the explosions.

In a message posted to the social media site on Wednesday, Leavenworth County Emergency Management said numerous calls of explosions were reported in the area.

The same post updated residents on the project and explained why the sounds and shaking were occurring.

Despite some panic earlier in the week, Schmalstieg said she had grown to appreciate the project.

“It's the price we pay for electricity. I like my electricity and what it gives me today,” she explained. “I would much rather look at new poles and know that they're new and up to date and meet safety standards."

Leavenworth County Emergency Management told residents that the explosions could continue until the end of the week.