"It's ridiculous in twenty degree weather. It should've been at springtime. I mean, I don't know what the rush is for," said Rodney Rojas about a scheduled power outage in his neighborhood.
Wichitans in the southside neighborhood want to know why Westar chose Wednesday to turn off their power for tree trimming. They told Eyewitness News it wasn't the power outage that upset them so much as the timing.
The outage only lasted about an hour to an hour and a half. But it was cold out Wednesday morning. And no matter how careful they were, residents said it was getting cold inside their homes, too.
"Oh, it was getting cold, quick. It sure was, yeah," said Rojas. "I mean, you could feel it dropping in here quick."
An hour or two in the dark is no big deal. But the cold was another story for the Rojas family. Westar warned them it would be turning off the power to trim the trees in the neighborhood.
"You know, it says weather permitting, so...." Rojas said, looking at the warning notice.
So when the weather turned cold, Rojas figured tree trimming would be delayed. But then the lights went off and they had no choice but to bundle up.
"It started getting chilly. I had this coat on that I've got on right now. And my grandbaby had a blanket around him."
After an hour, Rojas was seriously thinking about taking his grandson out to the car to warm up. He doesn't blame the tree trimmers for his cold morning, even hesitating to complain for their sake.
"I don't want it to hurt the workers that's doing the treecutting, you know?" he said. "They're just doing their job. It's the company that runs the electricity, you know?"
Rojas doesn't understand why the tree trimming has to happen this time of year at all. Why not do it in the spring?
"If it was sixty, seventy degrees, and it was only an hour, I could probably work with that. But not twenty degrees or below," he said. "That's ridiculous. Twenty degree weather. And I don't know what the wind chill is."
Westar Energy said the outage was designed to prevent bigger problems later on.
"The situation where we disconnect her power and we're out there and we can make our necessary trimming is a lot better than the situation where a branch comes down and takes out her power, where she would be without power for quite awhile longer," said Westar Energy spokesman, Nick Bundy.
Westar says it does more tree trimming in the winter. The lack of leaves on the trees makes it easier for the trimmers to see what they're doing. But the company says it always notifies customers before turning the power off.