Rural Areas May be Without Power for a Week, Co-Op Says
MARLOW, Oklahoma -- Cooperative crews continue to battle downed power lines and broken poles to restore power to members throughout the Southwest Oklahoma service territory. As of Saturday at 9 p.m., 108,000 home and business customers statewide are still in the dark.
As of Saturday afternoon, 7,000 members served by substations in the Bray, Cache, Marlow and Medicine Park areas were without power due to transmission and distribution issues. Another 3,000 other members throughout the service territory were without power mainly due to downed power lines and broken poles.
"Transmission issues are still a problem for us," said Steve Lyons, Vice President of Operations. "Repairs are being made to the transmission system, and we are working to get the subs energized as quickly as we can. We also continue to replace the hundreds of broken poles and downed lines throughout our system."
The cooperative has 200 line personnel working in the field assisting with the construction and repair of overhead lines and right of way clearing.
Because of extensive damage throughout the system, many will still be without power over the weekend. The majority of damage to the system is located in Northern Comanche and Northern Stephens counties and power restoration in these areas may take up to one week. Residents in Marlow have been told it could take up to 10 days.
Store owner Dennis McQuine said his business, Fat Boys Pizza in Comanche, is the one place in town that still has power thanks to his 25,000 watt generator that he drove all the way to Dallas to get.
"I didn't want to lose the power I had because rumors start that it could be one day, it could be a week," McQuine said. "I'm just hoping it comes back on or it's going to get tough."
For over two days, Sally Jones and her husband are like many in Stephens County trying to cope without electricity keeping what food they can outside in the cold while trying to keep warm themselves inside.
"It's been OK. Just put our coats on, warm up and try to turn the gas on for a little while," Sally Jones said.
But many residents aren't as lucky and continue to flood into the one shelter in Duncan that has become a place for people to escape an ice storm that has left a county crippled.
"This is my first time dealing with something of this magnitude. We've had small deals but nothing like this," said Duncan Mayor Jene Ball. "Under the stress and experiencing going through this, it's helped to know everyone is pitching in."
Co-op officials said getting electricity back to some areas has been slow because when outages occur, primary distribution lines serving hundreds of customers are serviced first, and then the secondary lines serving just a few customers are serviced.