The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 1, 2013

At the mercy of Mother Nature: Kudos to city leadership displayed during crunch time

ENID, Okla. — A critical issue arose last week when blizzard conditions interrupted power to electric-driven pumps in city of Enid water well fields in Drummond, Ringwood and Cleo Springs.

In a bold leadership move Feb. 26, City Manager Eric Benson sounded the alarm. The city of Enid suspended service to large industrial clients Tuesday and urged prudent residential usage to keep the city from running out of water Wednesday.

The city ordered 10 large generators from Dallas to arrive before dawn Wednesday

Benson said the plan was to use the generators to put some of the city’s best-producing wells back into service to recharge storage capacity. OG&E, Koch Nitrogen and Vance Air Force Base worked with the city and other electric cooperatives to remedy the situation.

Additionally, the city took a temporary generator to tie into a storage facility in the Ringwood/Drummond area.

On Feb. 27, the rumor mill started churning about the city of Enid turning off water at noon.

As we reported online at EnidNews.com, shutting off residential water wasn’t a real possibility.

In a scene reminiscent of the reality TV show “Ice Road Truckers,” workers dug their way into well fields west of Enid and averted a drinking water shortage for more than 55,000 people in Enid and nearby areas.

Temporary power was established with the use of generators at water well sites near Drummond and Ames.

Kudos to city leadership displayed during crunch time, and especially to workers who toiled through the night in harsh conditions.

Our water supply and pressure improved, thanks in large part to generators, engineers and electricians sent by Koch Nitrogen to assist in the effort.

It could have been much worse.

In Alva, City Manager Joe Don Dunham said his city “kinda” had water on Feb. 27.

Power to that city’s water wells was knocked out by the Feb. 25 blizzard that dumped about 20 inches of snow on the area.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University closed its campuses when Alva was without water due to issues with well pumps.

We’re glad water service is getting back to normal for everyone.

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