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City of McPherson Not Doing City-Wide Pickup, Instead Notes Significant Community Volunteer Efforts Since Saturday Storm


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — Unlike some communities around the area, the City of McPherson will not be doing a city-wide limb pickup from Saturday night’s wind storm.

Mayor Tom Brown talked about this during this morning’s City Commission Meeting, and said that city-wide limb pickup follows past practice of the city. He did note the significant volunteer efforts that have taken place since the storm, which he called an example of the “art of neighboring.”

“There have been many people helping people, helping their neighbors, helping people they know in other parts of town, and we still have a little bit more to go so keep up the good work and we’ll do the best we can to clean it up,” Mayor Brown said.

Josh Bedel, Board of Public Utilities General Manager also gave a report on the storm’s impact on BPU. At one point, about 3,800 of BPU’s some 9,000 customers were without power. At the height of the storm they had five major circuits down, which were restored within about three hours and brought back power to 2,800 customers. Work continued into Sunday to restore power, which in most cases involved resetting fuses or replacing transformers.

BPU also lost about a mile of 115 KV transmission line and some poles along 17th Avenue. This line, which dated from the 1970’s, had been scheduled for replacement in the next 2-3 years. By Sunday evening, there were just ten customers without power, and as of this morning there was just one commercial customer still off and that customer, near Moundridge, was having to do work on their side before power could be restored.

Crews from Capital Electric were brought in to assist BPU with repairs, especially on the 115 KV line, and also assisted with materials including the large size poles on that line BPU normally does not have in their inventory. Crews are now working on repairs to street lights damaged during the storm or where lines were snapped.

One issue they ran across a lot was people going around barricades where lines were down, especially along Limestone Road near 17th Avenue. Even though barricades had been set up with assistance from McPherson County, vehicles were still going past them. In one case, a vehicle going at a high rate of speed on Limestone, which is the county extension of First Street, ran over and got tires entangled in downed wires which caused his vehicle to flip over.