CHELSEA — The only grocery store in Chelsea is now operating with full power, but that wasn’t the case as of Wednesday at noon.

“Our district manager and our manager brought a generator and a refrigerated trailer for our refrigerated stuff,” Harp’s cash office manager Fran Phillips said Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. as crews from Public Service Company of Oklahoma were working diligently one block away. “We don’t have any fresh meat or deli products but we have bread, milk, lunch meat and cheese. And we have one register running.”

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, electricity had been restored to most of the town Chelsea, including the town’s only convenience store and gas station Jiffy Mart. However, there was no gas to be found at the station.

At noon Wednesday, Jiffy Mart was offering gas to customers, but ran out shortly after the electricity came on.

For one week prior to Saturday’s ice storm, there was no gas at any price in Chelsea due to underground tanks being replaced at Jiffy Mart. Gas was available one day prior to the electricity going out Sunday morning.

For residents of Chelsea wanting to gas up their vehicles or generators, an 18-mile trip to Claremore or Vinita is their only source for fuel.

Harp’s was closed Sunday and Monday, but reopened at noon Tuesday to offer customers groceries, “because we’re the only place around here,” Phillips said.

At Harp’s, customers can buy generators, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, small propane tanks and Coleman fuel, according to store manager Rhonda Anderson.

Helen Rue, who lives five and a half miles north of Chelsea, came into town Wednesday to buy just a few things.

“Today I bought some apples, soup and some snacks and some film so I can take some pictures of our trees down,” Rue said. “We live on a farm and have been watching the trees fall. I’ve been reading books by kerosene lamps and candles.”

Rue, and her husband Lonnie, live on a farm and have been trying to go about life as normally as possible, doing chores on the farm like feeding the animals and watching the limbs fall from the trees. The Rues have no electricity or water, but stay warm by the heat of a wood stove.

Power loss cuts water

supply in Chelsea, rural Oologah, Talala

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Bob Anderson said Chelsea was the only municipality waiting on a generator to power their water plant as of Wednesday afternoon.

“They’re the only ones we need to take care of right now,” he said.

However, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Chelsea Town Administrator Kenny Weast said a generator had been located in Kansas City and was on its way to Chelsea.

“Our electrician is here and we will work tonight to get it up and running,” Weast said. The Chelsea water plant supplies the town of Chelsea, rural Chelsea residents, some Talala residents and a portion of Alluwe.

Rural Chelsea residents and the town of Foyil were still without power as of Wednesday afternoon. Crews from PSO were working on EW 320 Road, near Highway 28 west, resetting power poles in an attempt to restore power to the rural Chelsea and Winganon area.

According to Anderson, no time estimate has been given as to when power will be restored.

In other areas in the county, partial power has been restored. Verdigris Fire Chief Bob Cox said about 20 to 30 percent of Verdigris is still without power; in the town of Oologah, fire officials reported about 75 percent in the city limits has power restored; the Sequoyah, Tiawah and Tri-District Fire areas are still 90 percent without power.

Anderson is advising those in areas without water or power should conserve what resources they have available, including water and gas.

Northwest Fire Chief David Puckett is requesting bottled water for the Oologah and Talala areas and asked that anyone wishing to supply water for that area should call the Emergency Operations Center at 341-4233.


Chelsea officials are hoping water will be restored early this afternoon to customers of the town and Consolidated Rural Water District 1.

Town Administrator Kenny Weast said a generator was located yesterday afternoon and arrived in Chelsea last night. Crews are working to wire the generator to the water plant in an effort to restore water to all of the two water district’s customers.

Weast said the water should be back up and running early this afternoon.

However, a boil order will be in effect until further notice from the town.

Weast advises all customers in the Chelsea area to vigorously boil water for one minute before consuming or using water for food preparation.

Rogers County Emergency Management Director Bob Anderson said bottled water will be available at Chelsea Fire Department today.

Questions concering this situation should be addressed to the Chelsea Economic Development Authority at 789-2558.