Many Rogers County residents are still without power, but lights are coming back on as crews work to restore electric across the county. Electric providers say service is being restored in some areas.

Public Service of Oklahoma

Public Service of Oklahoma spokesman Stan Whiteford said crews are working diligently to restore service to municipal facilities and local communities. Vic Brown of PSO said 1,900 crews from all over the United States have arrived to assist in restoration and will be dispatched Wednesday.

Brown said all of the infrastructure needs for Inola, Talala, and Oologah are back, and sewage is back on line at Inola.

“We’ve got some transmission issues that should be up by today,” said Brown. “Talala infrastructure is up and the town should have power by late afternoon.”

In Inola, street lights are burning again in many neighborhoods, but major poles down have kept a section of town that includes the police and the nursing home in darkness. Inola police are operating on generators for now.

The substation at Inola came on Tuesday afternoon. According to Whiteford a transmission line serving the Inola substation was down. Once up, the laterals can be brought online.

“A lot people will have to have meters reattached to house by licensed electricians,” said Whiteford. “We can’t hook up our wire until those things are taken care of.”

Brown said crews are working on a main feeder in Oologah. For some residents in that area, power will be back on over the weekend. He also said individual customers may need to call certified electricians to deal with meter problems.

Without power as early as Sunday, Oologah currently has limited restoration at the intersection of Highways 169 and 88.

A shelter has been set up at KC’s Kountry Kitchen. It is not a Red Cross shelter. Owner Karen Powell and daughter Charlene Rooney saw a need when they found out the Red Cross would not be setting up a shelter in their area.

Rooney said people were not able to get to Claremore safely Monday night due to power lines down along Highway 88. They are open 24-hours and anyone is welcome.

They are not charging but welcome donations. They have a backup generator because power is still unstable.

“We haven’t had that many problems in Catoosa other than individual customers,” said Brown. “As soon as we can pick up those main feeders which should be Thursday afternoon, if individual service drops are not down, customers in Catoosa should have power.”

PSO serves the city of Chelsea and some of the rural areas.

“We do not have the infrastructure of Chelsea back up yet,” said Brown. “We told the facilities people there they probably have to get a generator because we have all the crews we can throw in there to get things back up. They will have service until Tuesday of next week. Hopefully, we’ll have it before then, but we can’t promise anything before then. That’s where we sustained the most damage.”

Customers without power under PSO service as of Tuesday noon included: Chelsea with 1,831, Catoosa 3,429, Port of Catoosa vicinity 800, Inola 1,837 for a total of 10,797 customers currently without power not including Oologah or Talala.

PSO had no numbers for Oologah or Talala at press time.

“Our whole system from one end of the service territory to another was affected,” said Brown. “The majority of all of the cities in northeastern Oklahoma that we serve experienced a total loss of power.”

Whiteford said PSO is working in order of greatest need.

“Primarily we spent yesterday just dealing with priorities like hospitals, city facilities such as water treatment plants, sewer treatment systems, and Tulsa International Airport,” said Whiteford. Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and other municipal facilities are getting attention Tuesday.

“We’re not indicating any area over others,” said Whiteford regarding length of time areas would be without power. “Estimates are one week to 10 days before the last customer would be restored. Our hope is that over the next couple of days we can get to work and knock that number down.”

Northeast Rural Electric Cooperative

Cindy Hefner of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative out of Vinita which includes the Rural Electric Cooperative serving the Chelsea area issued a status report Wednesday morning.

“With temperatures remaining above freezing, crews are making significant progress today restoring power to our main feeder lines. At the current time we have 9 feeders out and none of those are in Chelsea,” said Hefner.

“Chelsea area we are working on what we call single phase lines,” said Hefner. She had no customer counts on Chelsea. “Contract crews continue to arrive to assist our crews.”

Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative

Kathy Calico of VVEC serving five counties in Northeast Oklahoma asked members to be patient.

“We just don’t know how long it’s going to take. That’s what our members really want to know and that’s something we just can’t estimate,” said Calico. “We don’t know what we’re going to find when we go in to get things back up. We’ve had to have bulldozers in some instances just to get to the lines.”

The system has 700 poles down and officials expect the count to rise to 1,000. Outages are close to half of the system of over 24,000 members spread out over five counties.

“At this time we had approximately 9,000 out total Tuesday morning,” said Calico. “This morning we’re estimating 7,500. We’re getting a lot of help, contract crews are coming in to assist. We also have another cooperative that sent us help.”

The system covers parts of Northeast Oklahoma north to the Kansas line, west to almost Pawhuska, south to north of Sand Springs and parts of Owasso with some people on Pine Street in Catoosa, then east past the other side of Claremore.

“Our members think we’re not answering our phones,” said Calico. “We want to emphasize that we are here. Our phone lines under normal situations are adequate. Right now those lines can’t possibly get all of the calls that are coming in.”

“We’ve got a really great outage report system, but we’re getting a lot of repeat calls. We’d like to ask members, once they’ve reported their outage, not to call in again. This will allow the system to work more efficiently.”