Citywide El Reno Water Outage Caused By Rolling Blackout, Service Slowly Restored

Tuesday, February 16th 2021, 4:25 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

A Tuesday morning rolling blackout by OG&E led to a citywide water outage in El Reno, city officials said.

Water has since been restored; however, Mayor Matt White tells News 9 it will be some time before service is completely restored as pressure needs to build back up again.

The outage caught city employees off guard.

“We’re trying to do the best we can, and we are,” said White. “But if we had a little bit of notice that only would have helped not only our citizens, but our water.”

Generators and pumps turned on, White said, however they cannot provide the same pressure as the main operation can at El Reno Water Works.

“Our plant is geared systematically to start back up, it takes a long start up at the well field when that happens,” said White. “You can’t just flip a switch to make it work, there is too much power going to those things.”

White said the outage happened during peak hours, which did not help matters.

No equipment was damaged during the duration of the power outage.

Residents are urged to continue dripping faucets and avoid high water activities like washing clothes and dishes.

White said it is now especially important to monitor pipes for freezing as empty pipes freeze faster than pipes that are full.

It’ll take time for a complete restoration as air will slowly need to be pushed out of the water system.

White did not provide an estimate as to when that process will be complete.