Wichitans respond to Towne West Mall power outage
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE)- As of 4 p.m. this afternoon Evergy confirms the mall's power is fully restored.
Towne West Mall was closed today after losing their electricity due to the Kohan Retail Investment Group failing to to pay their electric bill on time, Evergy said in a statement.
That's why when the clock struck 10 Friday morning, the doors remained closed but the parking lot was full of people who didn't know the mall was closed. People who were there say they were confused and shocked.
"The door didn't open. I was like wow and I looked inside the store and it was dark," says Priscilla Mehmedi.
Mehmedi was one of many people who still showed up to the mall expecting to be able to go shopping as usual. She had plans to get some early Christmas shopping done only to be told the mall was closed.
"I guess I won't be shopping at Towne West Mall today," she said.
Mehmedi has lived in Wichita for more than 50 years and says this is the first time she remembers the mall being closed for a reason outside of a weather event or holiday. She calls this situation crazy.
This afternoon the lights came back on but earlier today they were off.
In a statement Evergy explains this is because the Kohan Retail Investment Group, "has again fallen delinquent on the electricity bill for Towne West Mall and the electric services faces disconnection Friday. The larger stores at the mall have separate accounts that remain in good standing and are not subject to disconnection."
Even though the power is back on some people still can't help but worry about the mall's future.
"I think it's really sad that the mall is the way it is. It's very empty. I feel bad for the people who work there that are still trying to hang onto their jobs," says Mehmedi. She explains that in the last couple of days she's been to Towne West at least three times and it's her favorite mall in the city.
This is the second time in almost three months that the company was late on making their payment. In June they were extremely close to losing their power but at the last chance paid the bill. KAKE News has reached out to the management company to see if they are making any changes to avoid this from happening again but at this time have not heard back.