The National Weather Service confirms that winds up to at least 70 miles per hour hit Kansas City on July 14th, while an independent weather station on the Kansas side clocked them at 89 mph. Whatever it actually was that blew through Pendleton Heights, it was fierce. Couple the wind with the thunder and rainstorms that intermittently pelted the area, it wasn't a stretch to assume there'd be a lot of damage in the end.
At one point, there were over 200,000 Kansas Citians without power. Neighbors north of Lexington Avenue appeared to have been more broadly hit, but oddly enough, the outages were ultimately spotty in our enclave. The good news in all of this was, the temperature drop made going without air conditioning tolerable, and outages in PH lasted roughly six hours while other KC neighborhoods didn't get off so easily. Blackouts remained in effect throughout the metro for as much as two days later.
Once the rain had stopped, some of our more bold neighbors turned misfortune into an adventure. Although some streets were pitch black, if you stepped outside or peered through your windows, you'd catch glimpses of families strolling with lanterns or groups of kids with flashlights venturing out to check on friends and neighbors.
Speaking of lights in the darkness, the Pendleton Heights Fairy Lights & Murals project wound up serving our community in more ways than one on that fateful Friday. Neighbors who qualified for gifts of solar string lights (those with fences or outbuildings abutting their alleys) who hadn't yet put them up were able to use them to light their homes. Additionally, neighbors who were in line for them and who could be contacted after the rain stopped received them that very night. This came in especially handy for one neighbor who had been abroad with the National Guard, and had only recently returned home. He hadn't a single candle in the house, so those solar lights really made a difference where his comfort was concerned!
If you were impacted by felled trees or foreign debris in your yard, post storm, take heart. The City of Kansas City, MO understands that your usual Tuesday trash service won't be enough to handle it, so they've made some allowances. For more on that, visit the kcmo.gov City News page.