Letter to the editor: Power turned off

Editor’s note: The Wyandotte Daily recently received a letter to the editor that addressed Don Gray, general manager of the Board of Public Utiltiies, about the power being turned off at a home. The writer of the letter, Patrick Carr, is asking those with similar experiences to write to him at bpudisconnected@gmail.com.

Mr. Gray,
When I arrived home this evening (Oct. 11), my power was turned off. I called in a lights out report and received a call within a few minutes and was told my power was off for lack of payment. The individual was not able to restore power and gave me a number to call. He also explained there was a lot of people cut off today and I may be on hold for a while. I am set up on autopay and have been for years.

While on hold, I went on line to check the status of the account. I had not accessed the site online and it was necessary to establish a user name and password, etc. Once logged in the account was shown as delinquent with payment due Sept 20. It seems the utility did not process the autopay and is at fault. I have the receipt where the account was drafted August 20th. I received no notification by phone or mail that the account was delinquent. Regardless, it seems your policy would be to notify a customer for disconnecting.

I went through the process and made payment online, with a credit card and got the power restored the same evening so it turned out to be only an irritant and an inconvenience. I travel frequently for business and if I was out of town I would have returned to a mess due to the lack of refrigeration. For many having power is essential for health and comfort.

After the experience, I thought BPU must have a policy. It’s inconceivable that power would be disconnected after 20 days for non-payment from a customer with a long payment history without a late or missed payment EVER, and it’s more than a bit insulting. I looked on your site and with a search found some potential Q&As. Attached are the responses and the pages I was directed to. The links are dead.

I find it completely unacceptable for a business to act in this manner, particularly a monopolistic public utility. Had I been gone, the entire refrigerated product would have been lost. Many rely on power for medical support and all rely on power for comfort. It’s not like we can go to another supplier or make our own power.

As general manager of the utility I want to know what will be done so this doesn’t happen in the future. Please respond with your intentions and a copy of BPU’s disconnect for non-payment policy. How many homes were disconnected this month and, of those, how many had a good to excellent payment history? Also, please restore my autopay and credit all late fees.

Sincerely,
Patrick Carr

Column: Bringing back memories of the 1951 flood

Window on the West
Opinion column

by Mary Rupert

The possibility of flooding this week in Wyandotte County brings back memories of the 1951 flood for some.

That is the flood by which all others are measured in the Kansas City area. In 1951, Argentine and Armourdale were flooded and the lives of about 15,000 persons who were evacuated would never be the same.

The flood was before my time, but I recently spoke with Donna Ready about her memories of the 1951 flood.

Donna Ready

While Ready wasn’t in the flood itself, she was in Providence Hospital for childbirth on July 7, 1951. That was when the hospital was on 18th Street at what is now Donnelly College. She was in the hospital about seven days when the flood affected travel throughout the city.

“They said, if anybody feels like you can walk and be on your own, you need to go home because there isn’t going to be any doctors and nurses showing up,” she recalled. “So I had to go home.”

Her husband worked for the railroad, she said, and he had to go to the stockyards, which were in low-lying areas, and work there.

“He was saving people and animals,” she remembered.

Her home wasn’t in the flooded areas, she said, but she got to see some of the aftermath of the flooded areas. The flood affected her in different ways.

“The neighbors knew I was coming home with a new baby, so they all saved water so we would have water for the baby because the water wasn’t any good,” she recalled.

Images remain in her memory of the pictures of the Inter-City Viaduct with water above it, and animals floating down it, she said. A big area of K-32 highway was also under water, she recalled. And she remembered the Colgate-Palmolive plant being under water.

“We had friends that lived down in the bottoms who lost their homes. It took a long time to get back in, and they had to practically redo the whole thing, build houses back up again,” Ready said.

The flood of 1951 changed the look of the Kansas City area. It also was a factor in the migration of some residents west to higher ground in Turner and western Wyandotte County. Since then, more flood protection has been built around the rivers.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email maryr@wyandottedaily.com.

LRA prepares for Halloween event

The Leavenworth Road Association, Wyandotte County Parks and Multiply Church will sponsor a Halloween event at 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at Eisenhower Recreation Center. This photo is from 2017. (Photo from Lou Braswell)

by Lou Braswell

Halloween is coming, Leavenworth Road Association is getting ready. We are fortunate to have Wyandotte County Parks and Multiply Church to team with us for a Funtastic event.

The entire Eisenhower Center will be devoted to making it a fun and safe place for kiddos, games, hot dogs and treat tables. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.

The treat tables are a way for organizations, schools, churches, businesses and families to sponsor a “treat table,” and have a sign showing they are a big part of the event. We ask that treats being handed out are individually wrapped, costumes are not frightening and no masks are allowed. Tables are provided for the sponsors, signs will be provided if needed.

Last year there were 17 treat tables and Santa showed up to check out who was being good or bad, and found all to be good kiddos.

There will also be free hot dogs to the first 350 trick-or-treating youth.

To reserve a treat table or more information, call the Leavenworth Road Association office at 913-788-3988 or email us Lrakck@sbcglobal.net

Lou Braswell is the executive director of the Leavenworth Road Association.

The Leavenworth Road Association, Wyandotte County Parks and Multiply Church will sponsor a Halloween event at 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at Eisenhower Recreation Center. This photo is from 2017. (Photo from Lou Braswell)