Anadarko Scrambles To Repair Power Poles On Brink Of Failure
City officials in Anadarko said their electrical grid is one severe weather event away from failure.
Right now, leaders are working on a plan to fix that.
Anadarko City Manager Kenneth Corn told News 9 that of the approximately 1,600 power poles, around 240 need to be replaced immediately.
“If a windstorm, ice storm, tornado or anything like that comes through it could take down whole sections of the grid, if not shut down the whole power grid for the city,” said Corn.
Some of the city’s power poles are as much as 50 years old. That's enough time for them to rot from the top, all the way to the bottom.
“If you take your hammer you can hear by the sound,” said Rodney Green, the city’s electrical supervisor. “This one has got a hollow sound and this one over here has got a little harder sound to it.”
Of the city's four sections, power poles in the heart of the city are in the most dire need of replacement.
The problem is, that's where the main line is located which feeds the entire city.
“When the main line goes down, power goes out for everybody,” said Corn. “It'll be a problem for the hospitals, for the schools, for the wastewater treatment plants, for everybody.”
The project is currently estimated at $1.2 million.
That cost will increase as the city looks to repair other issues such as wiring while crews are already in town to avoid paying double in labor charges.
“If we don't fix this and it goes down, the cost to fix it immediately in an emergency situation is probably going to be 3-4 times more because you’ve got to get someone at a moment’s notice,” said Corn. “We won't be able to wait.”
City council members intend to pass a revenue bond at the next meeting, allowing a portion of meter fees already being collected to help pay for repairs.
The next Anadarko City Council meeting is scheduled for March 9 at 6 p.m. at city hall.