SOURCE: Westar Energy, Inc.

September 15, 2008 15:59 ET

Westar Energy Crews Return From Hurricane Restoration Efforts in Louisiana; More Crews Head Off to Help

More Than 400 Westar Energy and Contractor Employees Assist With Restoration Along Hurricane-Battered Gulf Coast

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - Westar Energy (NYSE: WR) crews again are heading to the Gulf Coast to assist utilities with restoration efforts following devastation to the region's electrical system from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Approximately 38 Westar employees, including linemen, management, field supervisors, a safety coordinator, fleet support and material handlers, left this morning for Louisiana. Westar crews that left on September 3 to assist with power restoration following Hurricane Gustav returned to Kansas this past weekend.

Westar contractors sent 111 distribution linemen plus support personnel to Louisiana on September 1 after Hurricane Gustav. In addition, more than 232 tree trimming contractor employees that normally work on Westar's system were released September 2 to assist. Most of those contractor crews will move on to Texas today or early tomorrow.

Westar and contract crews assisting in the Gulf states may remain there helping for several more weeks.

Several electric utilities are experiencing massive storm-related outages. At 2 p.m. today, Entergy reported 494,000 customers remained without power in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. According to local media reports, more than 2 million CenterPoint Energy customers remained without power this morning in Texas following Hurricane Ike.

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 675,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6,500 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates approximately 33,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

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