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Thousands still without power after storms hit Kansas City metro

A fallen tree at 75th Street after storms swept the Kansas City metro on July 14, 2022.
A fallen tree at 75th Street after storms swept the Kansas City metro on July 14, 2022.

Evergy reports more than 180,000 customers lost power Friday. As of Saturday night, two-thirds of those customers had powered restored. Cities in the area have reported downed trees and tree limbs.

Friday afternoon's thunderstorms knocked out power, downed trees and sent streams of water down roadways across the metro.

Evergy reported that at the storm's peak, 186,000 customers were without power, with nearly 3,500 reported outage events.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the number of power outages had been reduced by half.

By 1:30 p.m., just under 65,000 customers were left without power.

One of the businesses dealing with outages is McLain's Bakery in Waldo, which is dealing with lost food orders.

"Wedding cakes are being moved to a separate location to continue their decoration," the store posted on Instagram. "A lot of our cakes going out today were able to be completed in time."

The Shawnee Mission Post collected images of the aftermath in Johnson County.

Evergy said it can't provide individual estimated power restoration times, but that it expects restoration in the most severely impacted areas will take multiple days.

"More than 1,000 people are working on storm restoration, including line and vegetation crews, plus safety and other support teams," the utility wrote on its website. "We have also reached out to neighboring utilities in Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri for assistance."

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, Independence Power & Light reported 109 outages impacting 1,554 customers.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities reports 378 outages affecting 9,430 customers.

KCUR's own signal was knocked off the air for several hours. The broadcast on 89.3 FM was restored around 8 p.m. with national programming, but KCUR's local studios remain without power and unable to provide local programming. KCUR's web livestream is also down.

Our original story continues below.

A downed tree on Charlotte Street in Columbus Park.
Savannah Hawley-Bates
KCUR 89.3
A downed tree on Charlotte Street in Columbus Park.

The National Weather Service reported that as of 5:08 p.m., the line of storms had moved east of the metro but were still producing winds up to 60 miles per hour and hail approximately the size of a nickel. A map on its website catalogues updated warnings and alerts for the region.

 A National Weather Service map of the Kansas City region ranges from Topeka in the west to Jefferson City in the east, Grant City in the north and Iola in the south. The area around Kansas City, including Olathe, plus a patch just north of Leavenworth are colored maroon, indicating a flash flood warning. Most of the right bottom corner of the map is pink, indicating a severe thunderstorm watch, with patches near Jefferson City and Camdenton in orange, indicating a severe thunderstorm warning. To the southeast of Jefferson City is a blue patch, signaling a severe weather statement. To the west of Kansas City is a green patch, indicating a flood advisory. Most of the rest of the map is tan, meaning it's under a special weather statement.
National Weather Service
A National Weather Service map from 6:45 p.m. Friday shows warnings and alerts in the Kansas City area and out to Jefferson City and Topeka. Maroon indicates a flash flood warning, pink indicates a severe thunderstorm watch, orange indicates a severe thunderstorm warning, blue indicates a severe weather statement, green indicates a flood advisory and tan indicates a severe weather statement.

In a tweet, it also relayed reports of standing water along roadways and urged drivers to be cautious.

The Kansas City metro remained under a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m. Friday, as did surrounding counties on both the Kansas and Missouri side.

Several local municipalities — Lawrence, North Kansas City, Leawood and others — reported on Twitter that tree limbs were down and crews were working to clear paths and repair damage.

This story will be updated.

Updated: July 16, 2023 at 8:31 AM CDT
Evergy reports that as of 10 p.m. Saturday, 75% of customers have had power restored. Approximately 35,000 are still without power, but some outages are expected to continue into the week.
Updated: July 15, 2023 at 8:16 AM CDT
As of 1:30 p.m., Evergy reports that more than half of the power outages across Kansas and Missouri have been restored, with 65,000 customers still without power.
Madeline Fox is a news editor for KCUR.
As KCUR’s Audience Editor, I ask the questions: What do people need from us, and how can we best deliver it? I work across departments and projects to ensure our entire community is represented in and best served by our journalism. I help lead KCUR’s digital efforts to make our station more responsive, more competitive and more engaging. Contact me at gabe@kcur.org
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