Great Plains Energy, Inc. (ticker: GXP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Aquila Restoration Progresses Steadily
Power Back On For 42,000 Customers
ST. JOSEPH, Mo., Dec. 14, 2007, 12 p.m. - Aquila reported today that as of 11:15 a.m., power had been restored to more than 42,000 customers in its northwest Missouri service territory.
The Aquila-served communities of Platte City, Maryville and St. Joseph, as well as additional Missouri communities fanning north toward the Nebraska border and west toward the Kansas line, lost much of their electrical service on Tuesday as an ice storm hit areas of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. More than 1 million people in the four-state area were initially without power following the storm.
The ice accumulation snapped power lines and trees, which then fell on even more power lines. All together, Aquila ended up with more than 66,000 customers without services in its communities across the state.
Restoration began immediately and has so far brought service back to more than two-thirds of the Aquila customers affected by the storm. In addition to its 150 employees based in the northwest Missouri area, Aquila has augmented its workforce with more than 750 electrical line and tree-trimming experts from other utilities and contractors from Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio. The crews are doing restoration work in up to 16-hour staggered shifts around the clock.
Aquila urges everyone to stay away from power lines or electric facilities. Never touch, try to move or attempt to pick up a fallen power line, whether you think the power is on or off and it is important to keep children and pets away. Assume any downed power line is energized and do not attempt to rescue someone in contact with a power line. If you see a downed power line or damaged facilities, immediately call Aquila's emergency toll-free number: (800) 303-0357. Information about the service restoration effort is available online at the company's Web site by clicking on "Outage Report."
Aquila also reminds customers that property owners are responsible for any damage to the connection from the service line to the house, including the "weather head," meter box and the connection from the meter box to the house.
Based in Kansas City, Mo., Aquila owns electric power generation and operates electric and natural gas transmission and distribution networks serving approximately 900,000 customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
Media Relations (816) 467-3000
Al Butkus (816) 467-3616