Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. is bringing in extra help as it works on what could be a days-long process to restore electricity to powerless homes and businesses throughout much of central Oklahoma, officials said Tuesday.
Severe storms that moved across the area Monday night left 116,213 of the utility’s customers in the dark, the most since storms packing winds, heavy rains and tornadoes in June 2013 disrupted service to 145,000.
Brian Alford, the spokesman for the utility, said Tuesday afternoon OG&E is bringing in 450 workers supplied by other utilities and private contractors to help with this latest restoration effort.
“They will be arriving today and tomorrow,” Alford said.
Most customers affected by Monday night’s storms were in Oklahoma City, although the utility also was working to restore power Tuesday across many other central-Oklahoma areas, as well as isolated eastern and southern areas of the state and parts of western Arkansas.
Alford described much of the damage as localized, meaning it involves neighborhood distribution lines and service drops from those to customers’ homes and businesses.
The company faces the task of replacing downed lines and transformers as part of the restoration process, he added.
“This will be a multi-day restoration process that aims to address extensive damage across our service area,” Alford said.
“Those with damage at their homes and businesses should inspect their electric meter bases to ensure they are not damaged. A damaged base must be repaired before we can reconnect service.”
Other customers of electricity providers besides OG&E also were affected by Monday night’s weather.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported Tuesday afternoon that electric cooperatives had 5,282 members without power.