Temperatures expected to remain above zero

Power outages may continue

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Snow is cleared from areas around the Leavenworth County Courthouse on Tuesday. Most county officers were closed Tuesday because of the weather and potential for rolling blackouts.

Local residents could see more snowfall Wednesday. But temperatures are expected to remain above zero, according to the National Weather Service.

A drain on energy supplies remained an issue Tuesday as the power company Evergy conducted another round of blackouts.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that is scheduled to be in effect from midnight until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Up to one inch of additional snow accumulation may be possible.

While temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits during the next few nights, they are expected to remain above zero, according to a NWS forecast for the city of Leavenworth.

Daytime temperatures are expected to reach into the 30s later this week. And highs in the 40s and 50s may be possible early next week.

Local schools canceled classes Tuesday because of weather conditions.

Many local government offices also were closed Tuesday.

Chuck Caisley, Evergy senior vice president and chief customer officer, said the company initiated temporary emergency power outages for the second day in a row Tuesday at the request of the Southwest Power Pool.

Southwest Power Pool coordinates the regional transmission grid and wholesale energy markets for a 17-state region across the central United States including Kansas.

Caisley said the emergency outages have been conducted to ensure stability of the power grid and avoid larger and longer outages.

"That is our No. 1 goal," he said.

He said Evergy has a goal of limiting these emergency outages to between 30 and 90 minutes. But because of the requested amount of reduction from SPP, some outages for Evergy customers lasted two to three hours Tuesday.

Caisley said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that he is cautiously optimistic that Evergy is through the worst of the crisis.

"But we're not out of the woods yet," he said.

Evergy officials continue to encourage people to conserve energy.

Leavenworth Public Works Director Mike McDonald said the city has taken measures to conserve energy in its buildings.

"So we're trying to do our part," he said.

Kansas Gas Service officials announced Tuesday they have directed large customers to reduce their usage to prevent outages of gas service. Large customers have been directed to reduce their usage to what is known as plant protection mode, which is the lowest possible usage that will keep pipes from freezing and avoid damage to equipment, according to a news release from Kansas Gas Service.

This curtailment does not apply to schools, hospitals, health care facilities, hotels, grocery stores, universities, colleges, churches, public safety buildings, multi-family dwellings and apartments, according to the news release.

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