February 14, 2021
For immediate release
City issues winter weather advisories, modifies operations
As southeast Kansas experiences a more brutal winter blast than it’s seen in the past several years, the City of Independence has announced modifications to some services and issued safety warnings for residents.
At an update meeting of the City’s Emergency Management team this afternoon, it was noted that the forecast calls for wind chills in the Independence area as low as -20 to -30 degrees Monday and Tuesday mornings. In order to keep City employees and citizens safe in these dangerous conditions, City Hall will be closed Monday and Tuesday and no sanitation/trash pickup services will be offered on these days. City Hall is scheduled to reopen as normal at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Ralph Mitchell Zoo also is closed to the public through Wednesday, and zoo animals have been taken off exhibit and moved indoors or to reinforced enclosures to ensure their safety.
The City Hall closure does not affect Emergency Services, and Fire/EMS personnel will remain on heightened alert to respond to all calls, including cold-weather related emergencies.
City Leaders have issued the following care and safety advisories for residents during wintry weather:
- First and foremost, stay home if possible.
- A community shelter is now open to anyone in need at the Wesley Center, 111 E. Maple.
- If you experience an emergency, call 911. Do not use the Fire/EMS landlines, as staff may not always be able to answer immediately.
- Remember to bring your pets inside or provide them in a warm, insulated shelter and access to fresh water.
- If possible, please park cars in driveways/off the street to allow for snow clearing and passage for emergency vehicles. Crews will be clearing downtown streets after the snow stops Monday morning.
- Be extremely careful with heating devices inside your home (fireplaces, space heaters, etc.). Always follow manufacturers instructions. Never operate a generator indoors and do not use an oven to heat your home.
- Keep faucets dripping and open cabinet doors under sinks to ensure pipes don’t freeze. If you do experience frozen pipes, do not attempt to thaw them with a torch or other open flame. Use a hair dryer instead.
- If your water is flowing as normal, do not open the lid to your water meter pit to check it, as it could freeze quickly. If you believe your water meter is already frozen, call 620-332-2515.
- If you experience loss of electrical power, call Evergy at 800-383-1183.
- If you lose gas service, contact Atmos Energy at 866-322-8667.