• Last modified 439 days ago (May 10, 2023)


Residents brace for tonight's planned blackout

Staff Writers

When Marion announced a power blackout planned by Evergy, Sheila Williams put up flyers.

Manager of Homestead Senior Residences, Williams wanted to make sure people who lived there knew about the blackout.

That’s always been a standard practice for Homestead, she said.

Evergy’s blackout was planned from 10 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Thursday. The utility is the wholesale supplier of electricity to the city’s 1,109 customers.

Evergy planned the blackout to allow workers to disconnect a transmission line and connect a replacement line to increase reliability — work that was scheduled for November but was rescheduled because of cold temperatures.

The city invited residents to come to the community center in November. That offer wasn’t made this time. Marion sent multiple notices and reminders to people signed up for its emergency alert service letting them know in advance of the blackout. Those alerts come by text, phone, and email.

New city administrator Brogan Jones said that he didn’t know of plans to keep the center open for people reliant on oxygen, CPAP machines, or other equipment.

Most patients work with the supplier of their equipment to prepare for such situations.

“I have a friend who uses a CPAP machine who is going to a hotel in Hillsboro,” Peni Ens, director of Marion County Home Health, said.

Portable oxygen equipment runs on batteries, and users often have an extra battery.

Concentrators, however, rely on electricity.

“They should see if their durable medical equipment supplier can bring an oxygen tank to them,” Ens said. “They really should have that always.”

Tanks often are used as a last resort for people with concentrators and portable oxygen machines.

Williams noted that Homestead was not an assisted living facility or nursing home.

“It’s just a regular apartment complex” that serves low-income senior citizens, she said.

When the blackout was planned in November, Williams made sure residents knew the city building would be open.

City shelters also are available for tornadoes and other weather-related concerns.

“That’s common knowledge among tenants,” Williams said.

Last modified May 10, 2023