Utilities take steps to minimize ice storm damage


Monday, December 1st 2008, 6:30 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- One year after a devastating ice storm hammered Oklahoma, utilities are taking steps to minimize the impact of a similar storm this winter season.

   Officials with OG&E in Oklahoma City and Public Service Co. say they have been working to trim trees, bury some power lines and make a variety of improvements to their distribution systems. But both also acknowledge there is little that can be done to prevent widespread damage when a major ice storm hits.

   Tomorrow, OG&E plans to file a request with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to recover $115 million in costs over the next six years associated with efforts to insulate the electric grid from severe weather.

   Alford says the company is placing lines underground in new construction, aggressively trimming trees back from powerlines and installing "breakaway" connections at power poles that allow for quicker restoration of power in the event of a downed line.

   The Dec. 8 ice storm that pounded Oklahoma in 2007 was blamed for 29 deaths and knocked out power to more than 640,000 homes and businesses.