The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 1, 2013

Restoration: Nearly 80 line crews out in Enid area working on power

ENID, Okla. — OG&E Electric Services will have nearly 80 line crews working today to restore power to the final residential customers without electricity in the Enid service area.

John Little, OG&E district manager, said 73 crews currently are working and four more will join the work today. They include OG&E crews and contractors.

The plan, Little said, is to have all residential customers in the area back with power by Sunday night.

At the height of outages caused by Monday’s blizzard, more than 21,000 Enid customers were without power. As of 8 p.m. Friday, 498 customers remained without power in Enid, according to OG&E System Watch.

Other outages reported on System Watch were: Douglas, 98; Drummond, 79; Imo, 181; Kremlin, 82; Lacey, 109; Lahoma, 247; and Waukomis, 204.

Little urged anyone who does not have electricity yet, to call the statewide outage line, (800) 522-6870, even if they have called previously.

In the coverage area for Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, of Cherokee, crews are “making good progress,” said Colin Whitley, general manager and CEO, although it’s “not as fast as anyone would like.”

Crews are working “daylight to dark” to get the job done. Whitley said he hopes to have most or all of the new poles up by Sunday.

The problem is the shear number of poles Alfalfa Electric has to replace. Already, they have sent out 260 replacement poles with crews.

“We know there are more,” Whitley said. The number is expected to top 300.

Alfalfa Electric has 12 crews out setting poles and will have another crew start today, he said.

Even though many roads now are passable, Whitley said, the downed poles are in 2 to 3 feet of snow, and crews have to use bulldozers to clear a path so new poles can be set up.

Another problem crews are facing, he said, is every time they come to an area they haven’t been yet, they find more poles down.

Crews are concentrating in the Four Corners area north of Enid and the Ringwood-Aline area, where many poles are down, Whitley said.

One triumph Alfalfa Electric has had, Whitley said, is getting power restored to Alva and Jet water wells.

Electricity to the Alva water well field was restored at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to an update on the city of Alva website, alvaok.org.

The city is able to pump approximately 2 million gallons of water per day, but still needs to recharge the storage tanks. The city was going to transition from generator power to permanent power Friday, and officials urge people to follow conservation practices.

Also, city officials are urging Alva residents to boil water vigorously for one minute before using it for consumption, food preparation, dish washing, tooth brushing, wound care and bathing infants who may ingest bath water. That is to reduce the potential for contamination that may occur because of the loss of power.

Cimarron Electric Cooperative, of Kingfisher, had about 220 poles broken in the blizzard, according to a statement on the company’s website. About 2,200 meters currently are affected.

“Our crews are replacing poles, broken cross arms and splicing broken wire throughout the system,” the statement reads. “Muddy and snow-drifted roads are increasing restoration times. Ditches filled with snow, water and mud make it necessary to pull trucks out, further slowing down getting line put back together.”

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