NORMAN, OK—Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) continues work in the Cole and Etowah communities following confirmed EF2 and EF3 tornadoes that tore through the areas on April 19.
“As the storms rolled through, 16,000 OEC members lost power,” said Brianna Wall, OEC manager of marketing and member relations. “Our outage count is down to less than 200, and crews are continuing to rebuild the 200 poles and nine miles of lines that were destroyed.”
Crews worked through the night Wednesday and all day Thursday and Friday, restoring power to most members within hours. Construction of new poles continues Saturday and will remain until all members have power.
“Uprooted trees and debris blocking access is one of the main barriers at the moment,” said Vice President of Operations Marty Hayes. “Our guys continue to work diligently, however we’re in the stage of restoration now that unfortunately takes the most effort and resources as we work to rebuild.”
As crews restore power to OEC members, OEC Fiber subscribers will see their services restored as well.
“Our fiber technicians are working diligently splicing and ensuring our services are operational soon after the power comes back on,” said Senior Manager of Outside Plant & Fiber Technicians Joe Torres.
The OEC Foundation’s Operation Round Up program is able to offer financial aid to anyone affected by the storms in OEC’s service area, regardless of their electricity provider. More information about this program and the application can be found at www.okcoop.org/ORU. Contact Tory Tedder-Loffland at 405-217-6726 if you have questions about the application or program.
“Our hearts go out to members who have been severely impacted and displaced by these storms,” said Wall. “We thank all of our members for their patience, encouragement and kind words as we continue working to get power back on for everyone.”
To learn more about our outage restoration process or to keep track of our progress, visit www.okcoop.org/outage-map or follow OEC on social media.
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative is the state’s largest member-owned electric cooperative and provides electricity to over 45,000 members and 62,000 accounts in seven central Oklahoma counties. The service area includes approximately 2,200 square miles and 5,600 miles of line. To find out more about OEC, visit www.okcoop.org.