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Victory Electric: Power outages may still be possible

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
City provides steps for energy conservation during arctic temperatures.

The City of Dodge City is taking measures on local energy services with prolonged arctic temperatures hitting the region.

According to city public information officer Abbey Martin, the preparation comes from Victory Electric regarding the potential for controlled interruptions in power due to an energy emergency issuance, which residents should be prepared to come with no notice.

"At this time, city facilities except for City Hall, Dodge City Police Department and Dodge City Fire Department will close to conserve energy," Martin said. "Currently, this step will not impact city services such as trash, sanitation, water, utility bill payments, and public safety.

"Information can change at a moment’s notice for city services and operations and the utility companies providing service to our area.

"We will post updates as we are able and as quickly as possible."

To conserve energy, Martin gave steps individuals can use:

• Pipes: During periods of extreme cold, like now, it can be beneficial to leave open your cabinet doors under any sinks, especially those on an outside wall. Also, turn your faucet on so that it drips or runs very little. To help protect your pipes from freezing.

• Thermostat: Lower temperatures and dress in layers and additional blankets to keep warm. Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees or lower. If health permits.

• Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.

• Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

• Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until the demand for electricity decreases.

• Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.

For more information, visit victoryelectric.net, www.kdheks.gov, www.kansastag.gov, www.kcc.ks.gov or www.blackhillsenergy.com.

Regarding power outages, according to Victory Electric vice president of communications Jerri A. Imgarten-Whitley, at approximately 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, all power interruptions were restored, meaning Southwest Power Pool now has enough generating capacity available to meet the systemwide demand.

"Although SPP remains in an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 3, which indicates we are still operating below required minimum reserves," said Imgarten-Whitley. "Victory Electric appreciates our member’s energy conservation efforts and we encourage the continued conservation of energy over the next few days. By reducing the demand (electric use) on the system, we can help prevent further uncontrolled interruptions.

"As the day progresses, it is possible more power interruptions could occur. It is important to remember the controlled interruptions are a last resort and intended to safeguard the reliability of the regional grid.

"We encourage members to take proactive steps in order to be prepared in the event there are additional power interruptions. We understand this is not an ideal situation and has a direct impact on our consumers, but please know Victory Electric will continue to work and do everything in our power to keep our members up-to-date."

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.