News Releases

Power restored to 93 percent of customers affected by Friday afternoon storm
Evergy and neighboring utility crews continue around-the-clock restoration effort

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – July 16, 2023 – As of 8 p.m. Sunday, power has been restored to more than 93 percent of customers affected by Friday afternoon’s storms. Fewer than 18,000 customers remain without power on Sunday evening. Most customers in the Topeka and Lawrence areas have been restored by Sunday evening. In some areas of the Kansas City metro, outages will last into Monday and Tuesday as restoration efforts are completed across the Evergy service area.

Storms moving through the area on Sunday brought heavy rain, periods of lightning and muddy conditions that slowed and delayed restoration work for several hours. Weather has since cleared, and more than half the remaining outages are assigned to crews as of 5 p.m. Sunday. We continue to watch the weather with the possibility of more storms late Sunday evening and overnight into Monday morning.

This weekend’s storm response is the largest mobilization of crews since Evergy was formed by long-standing energy providers, KCP&L and Westar Energy, and it is still growing. All available Evergy and contract crews continue to work around the clock to restore power and will do so until power is restored to all customers.

More than 3,000 personnel from Evergy, contractors and neighboring utilities are working on power restoration. Utilities providing crews through mutual assistance to help with the storm include OG&E, Liberty Utilities, Omaha Public Power District, MidAmerica Energy, Alliant, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., AEP and Ameren Illinois.

Evergy and guest crews are being staged at the former Cerner complex and other locations in the Kansas City metro for equipment, materials, meals and coordination. The primary staging area at the former Cerner complex is the largest staging area mobilized since the 2002 winter ice storm. Crews are working 16-hour shifts, then taking a mandatory rest period before returning to work. When a crew takes its rest, a new crew takes its place.

Nearly 500 power poles were damaged or destroyed across our service area as a result of Friday night’s storm. Many of the remaining outages will require tree removal and reconstruction to restore power to smaller numbers of customers at a time. Work will take longer as we progress through the restoration.

If additional storms bring outages, crews will restore power first to emergency and public safety facilities. Work on main lines would be needed to ensure power could get back into neighborhoods. As crews are assigned to localized and individual outages, we will do our best to give customers without power from Friday’s storm priority. 

Evergy crews began restoring power early Friday afternoon as the first outages occurred. Lightning, heavy rain and 80-100 mph winds, equivalent to a hurricane or tornado, contributed to widespread customer outages, peaking at 186,000 with more than 265,000 total customers impacted over the course of the storms. Storms stretched from Salina to the Kansas City metro area and down into southeast Kansas. Crews have been working across our service area restoring power.

We understand outages are frustrating and appreciate customers’ patience as we work to restore power as quickly as safely possible. Community assistance and cooling centers can be found by calling 2-1-1.

Customers are asked not to approach working crews. Work sites contain hazards that our teams have protective gear and training to protect them. Having members of the public enter work sites creates a danger and slows down restoration.

Assume that all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed lines to 911 and then to Evergy Central at 1-800-LIGHT-KS (1-800-544-4857) or Evergy Metro, West at 1-888-LIGHT-KC (1-888-544-4852). Customers can report and track outages on Evergy’s outage map or mobile app.

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About Evergy, Inc. 
Evergy, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVRG), serves 1.7 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. Evergy’s mission is to empower a better future. Our focus remains on producing, transmitting and delivering reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for the benefit of our stakeholders. Today, about half of Evergy’s power comes from carbon-free sources, creating more reliable energy with less impact to the environment. We value innovation and adaptability to give our customers better ways to manage their energy use, to create a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace for our employees, and to add value for our investors. Headquartered in Kansas City, our employees are active members of the communities we serve. 

Media Contact:     
Gina Penzig       
Manager, External Communications     
Phone: 785.575.8089    
Media Line: 888-613-0003