Oklahomans Without Power Struggle To Stay Warm


Monday, December 28th 2015, 4:15 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck


For the second time in a month, El Reno was hit by a powerful ice storm. This latest round is leaving about 5,000 homes in the dark.

It's so cold in Donna Jones' trailer home, she's keeping the water running to keep the pipes from freezing.

You can see your breath when you talk. The power and the heat went off about 10 p.m. Sunday, and it hasn't been on since. 

“It stayed warm in here, fairly warm until about 1:30, 2 o’clock in the morning,” Jones recalls. “Then it got nippy. All we did is wrap up in blankets.”

It got so bad, Donna went to her daughter's trailer home down the road. There's no power there either, and the family is trying to keep the place warm using the stove. They know the dangers. 

“We’re worried about carbon, I guess it’s carbon monoxide poisoning”, Jones’ daughter Brittney Arredondo said. “So, we’re trying to keep an eye on that too.”

They're also worried about fire, but they're even more worried about the cold. 

Restoring power could take days because of all the downed power poles and lines. 

“It’s taken a lot of poles” El Reno Mayor Matt White said. “We know we just got a lot of infrastructure replaced from our Thanksgiving ice storm and now all of the sudden we’re going through this situation.”

OG&E said crews are surveying the damage, but they're still not sure how many poles and lines were damaged or how long it will take to fix. 

“Mainly, I’m worried about keeping my kids warm,” Arredondo said. “(I've) Got three little ones and my grandmother who’s elderly so trying to do the best we can."