The McPherson County Commission held an impromptu meeting this morning to declare a local disaster emergency in the wake of the ice storm over the weekend.
McPherson County Emergency Management Director Darren Frazier says, countywide, they are still dealing with several power outage situations. To that end, they have set up a shelter at the McPherson First United Methodist Church's Hess Hall for those without power.
The main concern as the precipitation starts to cease is that winds are predicted to pick up, with possible gusts between 20-25 MPH.
“As outages, trees fall, we are reporting them to BPU,” Frazier said. “Hopefully [the ice] melts fairly quickly, but that's going to be our issue that we're sitting on right now. Other than that, we're up and running. [McPherson Hospital] electricity is back on. We're just taking it as it comes in.”
The hospital had a tree limb fall on a power line and knock the entire circuit off earlier this morning. Power was restored by 8:15 a.m.
While McPherson City staff is recommending you stay indoors until the weather improves, McPherson Fire Chief Jeff Deal reminds you to stay away from downed power lines if you do get out and about and come across some.
“Do not attempt to move it on your own,” Deal said. “Please stay away from anything that's in contact with it. That includes tree limbs. Just stay inside and clean up your yard once all of this has passed.
Deal says, if you see a downed power line and there is a threat of imminent danger due to arcing with the line, contact 911 and they will perform an emergency run. However, if you have merely lost power, do not call 911 and instead contact the BPU.