A widespread power outage has affected Wyandotte County during a winter snowstorm Tuesday.
The heavy snow has caused downed power lines throughout the county, with more than 13,000 customers out of power.
"Like all utilities, we're pounded by the storm," said David Mehlhaff, Board of Public Utilities spokesman.
"The crews are working very hard, trying first of all, to work protocols, getting the hospitals and rest homes first," he said. "There's a lot of businesses not open, it allows us to get to the different residential areas quicker. We do have lines down all over the city, we're telling people not to go near them, let our people get to them."
People should try to report the downed power lines any way they can to the BPU. If they are not getting through on the BPU's telephone outage line, they can try sending a message to the BPU through the BPU's Facebook page or through email or text messages, he added.
The BPU through its mapping system is pretty aware of where the outages are, he said.
A wide swath of power outages is all over the city, and particularly concentrated right in the heart of the city, in the central part, he said. One problem is that as some neighborhoods go back online, other neighborhoods are hit as tree limbs fall on power lines.
Melhhaff said BPU Board President David Alvey was without power and so were some other board members and staff members.
"We're going to keep our crews on it the best we can," Mehlhaff said. "Hopefully we can make some headway toward the end of the day."
BPU Board Member Jeff Bryant said his power had been flickering on and off in the Turner area this morning.
"I don't know how much longer it's going to stay on," he remarked. "These winds are not helping at all." Wind gusts were about 20 to 25 mph, and are causing tree limbs to fall on power lines.
He said he had heard that there were a lot of power outages being reported in the Rosedale area. The Muncie area also had a great number of outages.
"I just hope the wind changes," he said. "I've been out shoveling and it's a heavy, wet snow."
Some residents' home heating is affected by the electrical outage, as their gas furnaces are controlled by electrical motors or thermostats.
The Wyandotte Daily News apologizes to our readers who were unable to receive any updated reports until midmorning, but the Wyandotte Daily News was also affected by the power outage and was unable to post anything from about 2:40 a.m. until power was restored about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday.
The Board of Public Utilities' outage map showed 13,402 customers were affected by the power outage in Wyandotte County at about 11:25 a.m. Tuesday. Customers who were out as of about 11:25 a.m. totaled 12,338.
Customers who called totaled 1,819 according to the chart, with 309 calls received in the last hour.
As of 12:40 p.m., the BPU's outage map showed 8,935 customers without power in Kansas City, Kan. That is more than 4,000 customers restored in the past hour and a half.
We were unable to get through after about 10 calls on the BPU's power outage telephone line during the morning hours, and received a recording stating that all lines were currently busy and to call back later.
Customers, who experience an electrical outage, may call the electric outage hotline number directly at 913-573-9522 or report an outage online at www.bpu.com or via the BPU Facebook page.