2002 Central Plains ice storm

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2002 Central Plains ice storm
Category 2 "Significant" (RSI: 4.021)
TypeIce storm
Winter storm
FormedJanuary 29, 2002
DissipatedJanuary 31, 2002
Maximum snowfall or ice accretion3 inches of ice
Damage$111 million
Power outages650,000 at peak
CasualtiesAt least 1
Areas affectedKansas, Missouri, Oklahoma.

The 2002 Central Plains ice storm was a major winter storm that affected the American Midwest, causing significant damage across the region, especially in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.

The initial storm[edit]

Up until the point of the storm the weather in Kansas City had been remarkably pleasant; The city appeared to be experiencing a mild winter, and 2 days before the storm the temperature was over 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Weather Central;


The storm left up to 2 inches of ice over the affected regions on the evening of January 30. Affected infrastructure initially held, but began to crumble as the night wore on. Electric transformers were prone to explosion and in some cases created small fires, and trees shattered under the weight of hundreds of pounds of ice. Larger trees were actually more susceptible to cracking and falling than smaller trees, with pin oak trees falling while twigs remained undamaged. After the 31st, more than 650,000 residents were without power, including 350,000 in the Kansas City metropolitan area alone and 250,000 in Oklahoma. In some cases, power didn't return to residents for nearly 14 days. Approximately 500,000 trees were affected in Kansas City alone, including two "Bicentennial Trees" which were estimated at being over 200 years old. States of emergency were announced by the governors of all three states. Then on the tail end of the storm, some places got snow on top of the ice that had fallen, only worsening the problem.

See also[edit]