Electric crews stand by with ice storm threat

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:02 PM CST
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(KXII) -So far, the power outages have been relatively minimal across Texoma.

But, electric crews are bracing for another round of freezing precipitation.

As emergency crews hope for the best, they are indeed planning for the worst.

“We positioned materials and resources in our service area, including in Southern Oklahoma and areas around Ada, in Ardmore, and Durant,” Aaron Cooper, Manager of Corporate Communications at Oklahoma Gas & Electric said, “We have hundreds of personnel on standby and all through our service area to respond if any power outages should occur.”

Not only are emergency crews in Oklahoma ready, but so are Texas crews.

“A lot of that depends on the severity and the thickness,” David McGinnis, General Manager of the Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative said. “A little ice, we don’t worry about, if we get a quarter inch to a half inch like I’ve seen on some of the weather services, it weighs down the line which could break a pole.”

McGinnis said nearby trees are also a risk.

“More likely it’s a tree limb that is taller than 15-foot that we’re allowed to trim, that breaks, especially after a drought year, the trees are weak so a lot of ice will weigh them down and cause them to fall.”

OG&E said they maintain nearby vegetation year round, as well as a winter weather prep, “we make winter preparations well before the first freezing temperatures arrive and this year all those weatherization was done by November.”

McGinnis said line repairs shouldn’t take too long to restore but getting to the downed lines will be the hold up.

“A small branch, 15 to 20 minutes once the crews get there, a big tree that takes down and breaks several poles could be into the hours.”

Electric companies say there are precautions you can take in the event you lose power, such as making sure your devices are charged, check in on homebound friends and family, having extra blankets and jackets, and making sure your gas tank is full.