Extreme Heat Keeps Oklahoma Line Crews Busy

Friday, July 29th 2011, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Record heat is keeping OG&E line crews busy fixing small scale electrical outages.

Friday afternoon a blown transformer at a well pumping station near Lake Draper needed the services of Wade Compton's crew.

"The load's big, the demand's big," said Compton. " I don't think they could handle it. Some transformers are weaker than others."

The crew found a replacement unit in El Reno and got it installed.

This was the crew's first job of the day. It probably won't be the last.

The guys say their days are "wet."

"We sweat a bunch, but we start early.  We try to get up, drink a lot of fluids, usually try to start the night before.  And as a crew we try to do things safe, stay safe, drink a lot of fluids," Compton said.

The heat takes a toll on the crews, as well as on OG&E's generating plants, which are working at capacity.

"We don't expect to exceed what we have available," said Brian Alford, a spokesman for OG&E.  "But, again, there's always a possibility you could lose a plant or some unforeseen circumstances that could cause some issues."

But most problems so far have been outages on a small scale.

On Wednesday customer demand caused OG&E to generate a record amount of electricity--6834 megawatts.