(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) More than 4,000 northwest Missouri residents woke up Wednesday without power.
Evergy continues to battle a widespread outage resulting from Tuesday's winter storm which slammed the area with snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain. At the power outage's peak, 21,500 residents were left in the dark.
Evergy spokesperson, Dan Hegeman, said fallen branches on power lines is the main cause of the outage.
“We’re getting a lot of tree damage. The trees get ice on them, the limbs break or bend down into the line and it’s causing problems right now. We do an aggressive tree trimming program all year long to try and address that issue, but we still have trees that fall over and get into our power lines,” said Dan Hegeman, Evergy spokesperson.
Thankfully for some, a fallen tree branch didn't impact their power.
“When I woke up this morning, I saw the tree but I didn’t have one problem,” said Marcus Sanchez, St. Joseph resident.
Kitty corner from the Sanchez home on Pickett Road swings a fallen tree branch, dangling like a crystal chandelier over a powerline.
“I’m very lucky,” said Sanchez.
Richard Fulton wasn't as lucky. Living on Shawnee Road in St. Joseph, his family has been without power since 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Well, there’s no unmaintained trees by my house and we still have no power,” said Richard Fulton, St. Joseph resident.
Hegeman said families that lost power Tuesday should have power restored by midnight on Wednesday, meaning the Fulton's could be without power for up to 32 hours.
“It’s cold, my kids are cold and they can’t even tell me if I need to go to a hotel or how long it’s going to take?” asked Fulton.
Hegeman said this first winter storm of the season presented its challenges for crews, "In ice storms like this, we get a lot of small outages where we have to make a repair and we only get 2-3 people on. In some storms, we can make repairs and get hundreds of people on.”
Overnight crews worked 16 hour shifts trying to restore power to thousands of residents, but for families like the Fultons, they're still waiting in the cold.
“I’m upset and I’m mad, but at the same time- look around. There’s ice everywhere. It’s going to take a minute,” said Fulton.
To report a fallen power line, call 911 and Evergy at 1-888-LIGHT-KC.