Last Wednesday, worsening flooding conditions along the Missouri River prompted the partial evacuation of nonessential workers from the Iatan Power Plant in Weston, Missouri, 40 miles north of Kansas City. The plant remains in operation.

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) owns and operates the two-unit Iatan plant. Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing Chuck Caisely told POWERnews today that they do not anticipate needing to shut down the plant, which sits on a plateau higher than the levee system, which has been overtopped. Caisley said the plant has a margin of about three feet of river rise before they would have to shut down the plant.

A complete, controlled shutdown would take about three days, and if the Army Corps of Engineers indicates that conditions in any future three-to-five-day period show the water will rise higher than three more feet, operators will begin taking the plant into a shutdown process.

Until the floodwaters recede, KCP&L is having plant workers park about two miles away and is then using buses and a pontoon to shuttle them to the plant. A normal day shift is 120 to 125 workers; the plant is currently operating with around 90 employees. Kaisley said the staffing reduction was made out of "an abundance of safety" and to keep employees’ personal vehicles out of harm’s way.

Sources: POWERnews, KMBC.com
[Corrections to state and spelling of Chuck Caisley’s name made 7:20 EST 7/6.]