TOPEKA, Kan., June 30, 2012 — Westar Energy received a call for assistance from the Mutual Assistance Group to help restore power after strong thunderstorms left millions without electricity in the eastern United States.
Westar has released contract crews and will be sending 41 Westar linemen, supervisors, safety and support personnel to assist with restoration efforts. Crews will be assisting American Electric Power (AEP) in West Virginia with power restoration. As of early Saturday morning, AEP West Virginia estimated 349,000 customers were without power and restoration to all customers would be in the 5 – 7 day range. On top of that, temperatures are forecasted to be in the triple digits the next couple days.
Employees from Westar’s Topeka, Marysville, Hutchinson, Atchison, Pittsburg, Independence, Newton, Arkansas City, and Wichita offices will assist with the restoration.
Crews will depart Saturday evening and are expected to arrive in Charleston, WV, by late Sunday evening and initially plan to stay through the fourth of July.
Westar Energy is a member of the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group. This group allows Westar to call upon neighboring utilities and their contractors for help to restore service in the event of a significant event, such as severe storm. In return, Westar will send line and tree crews Westar Energy sends crews to West Virginia to assist neighboring utilities when they are in need. In the event of catastrophic damage utilities reach out for assistance from across the nation.