Only a handful of homes in Claremore remain without power this morning, and all of them could potentially have power back on by this evening, according to City officials.

“The only people still without power are the ‘re-inspects’, and those are the people we’re waiting to hear back from that an electrician has been to their residence to fix their service line — 10 homes in all,” said Matt Mueller, assistant city manager. “Our work orders are complete — we still have those 10 ‘re-inspects’, where there may have been damage to the weather head, where the person had to get a private electrician to come do the work. Once those ‘re-inspects’ call us back to say the work’s been done, we’ll go out and hook their power back up — which could be as early as today.”

Mueller said even if the City doesn’t receive word today from those still without power, crews would make on-site visits to check the status of the homes.

So close are City crews to finishing power restorations, a “large majority” of the crews called in from Arkansas and Texas were sent home at noon today.

“We will retain some of the out-of-state electric workers to help us with some projects that were a result of the ice storm that we may have waited to finish until everyone’s power was back on,” he said. “I think there are some pole replacements and other projects that still need to be taken care of that we’d put ‘Band-Aids’ on while we were addressing the power outages first.”

Mueller said getting power restored took precedent over other, non-emergency projects related to the ice storms.

“At this point, we’re wrapping up the last of the power outages — it’s just a matter of the availability of electricians on the re-inspects as to when those people’s power will be restored,” he said. “Everyone that can receive power, that we were alerted to, is on — at this point, our work orders are complete.

“It was a very difficult situation from the get-go — once we realized the magnitude of the outage, we were wary of saying anything as far as when power could be back on,” he said. “But our internal goal was to have everyone up before Christmas, so the crews could have holidays with their families and so our (electric) customers would be able to enjoy their holidays with the power on — that was our goal and we pushed hard, as much as was safely possible, to achieve that.”



VERDIGRIS VALLEY ELECTRIC



A vehicle accident around 6 p.m. Thursday caused Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative to lose a three-phase line in the Foyil area, resulting in another delay in already challenging power restoration efforts.

Kathy Calico, VVEC representative, “The members had only been on about an hour and the accident caused an additional outage of several hours. This is the third accident that has caused us to loose power after it was restored and all accidents were in Rogers County. The first was a truck that downed a three-phase line in the Pine Street area (in the early days of the ice storm), the second took out a single phase line near Verdigris.”

Contract personnel number 775 as of this morning. VVEC is not releasing crews. “One crew was released due to safety issues on their trucks,” said Calico. “The trucks did not meet the Cooperative's safety criteria. Kiamichi Electric Cooperative crews returned home after assisting us from the beginning of the ice storm for 12 days.”

Today’s updates are:

Sequoyah area — 95 percent of members should be on with the remaining 5 percent on by Friday p.m. with scattered outages.

Tiawah area — Most members are on with only scattered outages.

Nowata area — Parts of area are still off with 50 percent of members should be on by Friday p.m. and all should be on by Saturday p.m. with only scattered outages.

Alluwe area — All members, except for scattered outages should be on.

Collinsville — Remaining members should be on by the end of Friday p.m.

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