Residents across Eastern Jackson County on Monday were still cleaning up from Saturday evening’s storm that took down trees and limbs and knocked out power to thousands.

The city of Independence is opening a storm-debris drop-off site at 875 Vista Ave. It starts Wednesday – hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – and will be open through Aug. 6.

It’s for residents, not contractors. Bring proof of residence. The city is not collecting debris at the curbside.

Sugar Creek also has opened a debris drop-off area. It's at the lot at Evans and Sterling. Residents of Sugar Creek only can bring their storm debris – no household items – to the lot. Call 252-4413 for more information. Beginning July 31, Sugar Creek Public Works will begin picking up storm debris. Residents must put debris close to the roadway, since city crews cannot enter private property to remove debris. 

As of Monday, the Independence reported that power outages could run into today. The city is asking people still without power to continue calling in at 816-325-7550. As of late Monday, the city said 1,400 homes and businesses served by Independence Power & Light remained without power. Crews are addressing outages, but as is typical following a storm, many of the outages at this point involve a handful of customers and take a good deal of each crew’s time.

Kansas City Power & Light, which serves Eastern Jackson County outside Independence, reported about three dozen outages in Eastern Jackson County as of late Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service says the worst of the storm was in Johnson County and southern Jackson County – with winds of 70 mph and gusts to 80 – but the Independence/Blue Springs/Grain Valley area got hit, too, mostly sustaining downed trees and limbs that knocked out power to many.

One of those trees was a huge old pin oak tree belonging to Jim Faith, who lives in the 700 block of South Jones Road in eastern Independence.

It happened about 10:30 p.m., he said. "It was just a huge boom," as it fell, away from his brick house but right across the power lines and onto the street. He watched as cars approached and turned back the other way. One driver got out and tried to move limbs out of the way. About 12:30, he said, police arrived and cleared a path, and Independence Power and Light marked the dangerous area.

Luckily, Faith's house had only a couple small branches on the roof and other limbs in the backyard. The pin oak was hit by lightning years ago, he said, and it was vulnerable to the winds.

The Weather Service also says it’ll stay hot – highs in the mid-90s – today and Wednesday. There’s a chance of thundershowers late Wednesday and Thursday but, so far, no indication that they’ll be severe.

There is an air-quality alert today, meaning high levels of ground-level ozone are expected. Today’s SkyCast rating is orange, the third highest of a four-step scale. Residents are advised to reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. Ozone can affect those with heart conditions; keep medicines close by. More broadly, residents are asked to do their part for today’s air quality by taking the bus or carpooling and by putting off mowing until the next green SkyCast. Bus fares are half price – 75 cents – on ozone alert days.