City of Marion prepares for blackout due to substation maintenance even as work is postponed
Electricity is one of, if not the most important resource to our daily life. It powers lights, cars, phones, computers and pretty much everything else we use day-to-day. So, what happens when you don’t have it?
That's a question that the city of Marion will have to briefly answer soon.
“Anytime you take one of those out of the mix, then you certainly have an effect on people's lives," City Administrator Mark Skiles told KAKE Tuesday.
Marion is preparing for a planned city-wide blackout. The city’s lone substation is being taken down by Evergy for maintenance and upgrades, meaning the city won’t have any power for at least a few hours. It was originally scheduled for early Wednesday morning but was postponed due to the cold.
Skiles says city leaders were told of the overnight outage a few weeks ago and since then, they have been working to let everyone know.
The city has a message system called "Code Red" that they have been using to send out notices, as well as posting to social media. Skiles says he has also gone door to door to some businesses to tell owners and try to figure out what time and days would work best.
That's been everyone from local banks and grocery store, to maybe the site needing the power most, the local hospital.
"Their surgical equipment is extremely sensitive to an electrical outage. So, if it's planned, they will disconnect from the power source, and there's not going to be any surgeries that are planned from 11 at night to five in the morning. Hopefully, there's no emergencies that require that but that was, you know, that was the most that we could do for them.”
Skiles says the city will be opening their community building the night of the outage to allow for people who need to have electricity for oxygen or other machines to use the generator there.
When the outage is rescheduled, we'll update this story.