Frigid weather sees utilities urging customers to conserve

Associated Press
Associated Press

OMAHA — Frigid weather that has sent temperatures plunging across Middle America also had power and gas utilities urging customers to dial down the thermostat. 

Utility companies serving Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri issued pleas Sunday and Monday for customers to conserve power as temperatures plummeted and demand for energy soared across the Plains.

"Much as it does in summer, high demand can put additional strain on our system," a message from Omaha Public Power District to customers read. "We are seeing similar effects now, only this time with record cold instead of heat."

The warnings came as Texas officials initiated rolling power outages in that state Monday morning as a winter storm dropped snow, ice and temperatures. 

Further north, the National Weathers Service showed temperatures dropped to nearly 30 below in parts of western and northern Nebraska overnight into early Monday, sending the wind chill to as low as nearly 50 below in some places. The weather service issued a wind chill advisory for most of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri into Tuesday. A winter storm warning that expected up to 5 inches of snow on Monday also was issued for the southern half of Missouri and parts of southeastern Kansas.

Besides Omaha Public Power District, other utilities issuing pleas to conserve energy through Wednesday included Nebraska Public Power District, Evergy in Kansas City, Missouri, and Summit Natural Gas serving parts of Missouri.