Evergy to discuss blackouts at Topeka City Council meeting Tuesday

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Evergy will appear before the Topeka City Council at its meeting Tuesday night.

The energy provider is expected to discuss the rolling blackouts that took place last month. At the height of these outages, more than 100,000 customers across Kansas were without power.

Karen Hiller is the Topeka City Councilwoman from District 1.

Hiller hopes to hear more about how these outages and what can be done to prevent them.

“I know there are people that are eager to know what their thought process was in choosing where that rolling blackout went first and who came next,” Hiller said. “I’m expecting them to explain that and then lessons learned in terms of what we’ll look at in the future.”

Hiller said she also wants to hear about the company’s communication with the public. She said Evergy’s advice about conserving energy came “very late” and seemed to be more oriented to a summer outage than one in extreme cold.

Another possible discussion is the outage length.

Evergy originally predicted outages of 30 to 60 minutes, but some outages lasted more than three hours.

Christi Stewart is the President of the College Hill Neighborhood Association. She said her neighborhood was not prepared for hours without power.

“We were already struggling to keep our homes warm with the cold snap and then for the power company to shut down our electricity for three hours that morning,” Stewart said. “It really did damage to homes. We have neighbors that have frozen pipes. We personally lost our refrigerator.”

The Topeka City Council meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. Monday. It will be a hybrid meeting. Some of the council will be inside the chambers and some will appear virtually. No more than 15 people will be allowed in the chambers to watch the meeting at once. The meeting will be streamed on the city’s website and Facebook page.

There will be public comment at the end of the meeting. In order to participate, contact City Clerk’s Office at 785-368-3940 or by email at cclerk@topeka.org by no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday.

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