Rolling blackouts expected
Local officials are warning that rolling blackouts are expected in Marion county until temperatures warm up enough to reduce consumption.
“We are warning our customers that this will occur,” Marion city administrator Roger Holter said. “We have no advance notice.”
Low temperatures the past eight days have forced many utility customers to use nearly a month’s worth of heat.
The governor has given state utilities the authority to create rolling blackouts to keep the power grid going.
Record temperatures of -16 tonight and -6 tomorrow are forecast along with another inch of snow.
“We will shatter all records tonight for cold temperatures,” Robb Lawson of the National Weather Service in Wichita said Monday afternoon.
The county is forecast to tie record for the coldest winter it has seen in more than 38 years as a 10-day period of freezing temperatures is expected to linger through this weekend.
The coldest temperature ever recorded from a national weather service observer was -24 Dec. 23 and 24 in 1989.
After Thursday, the weather looks is expected to be somewhat better, with sunshine and a high of 22 degrees.
“Get out the shorts, right?” Lawson said.
Still, single digits are expected for overnight lows. After recording single-digit temperatures on only three days in the past two years, the area has been in single digits for an entire week.
Last year, Marion County temperatures never plunged below zero. This year, the county has endured sub-zero weather for four consecutive days and counting.