Even though OG&E’s power service area goes far beyond Oklahoma City, the metro is its largest municipality and population it serves.
And, that population is up in arms more than usual after some residents have been without power now for up to 14 days.
Three Democratic Oklahoma Legislators representing districts in Oklahoma City, the hardest hit in OG&E’s service area, issued a statement Monday after having heard two weeks of pleas from their constituents in different parts of the city. They are now calling for OG&E to do more now and in the future.
“We are taking that first step and offering to assist OG&E in addressing these problems immediately,” a prepared statement read. “Our constituents, OG&E’s consumers, are in need, and we want to know how we can help now and into the future. It is not too soon to begin a dialogue about how to prevent mass outages in the future – this crisis was not unexpected nor was it a one-time incident.”
Destructive ice storm
An early and intense ice storm broke down trees grounding out service ally lines to hundreds of thousands of homes on the metro.
And, according to OG&E, the ice also did harm to some of their larger equipment such as transmission lines that deliver power to the neighborhoods.
Oklahoma City’s population is about 650,000 and most of their homes have electrical power delivered by OG&E.
It has now been two weeks since some in the metro have had power. OG&E has continued to make commitments to have power on only to push back their targeted repairs several times.
Representatives Cyndi Munson, Mickey Dollens, and Collin Walke offered to assist in communications between their constituents and OG&E.
Munson, north side, HD-85
But, the statement also delivered pressure on OG&E leadership to address the damage to livelihoods and property as well as developing better plans for the future to insure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
“As an OG&E customer who has been without electricity for 14 days, I have been living through what my constituents have,” Munson said. “The outage has created a crisis—adding to the current pandemic we are living through—emotionally, psychologically, and financially.”
“I have been displaced from my home and know the pain of throwing out a fridge full of food – and after two weeks, many of my constituents and I still do not know when this will end,” said Munson.
Dollens, south side, HD-93
Representative Mickey Dollens was equally as blunt.
“As elected officials, it’s our job to ask tough questions and [our] moral obligation to help constituents,” Dollens said. “The past two weeks have been emotionally, financially, and academically devastating.”
“The issue in front of us now is how does OG&E plan to prepare and prevent these delays and outages in the future,” Dollens said.
“The Legislature and Corporation Commission must study OG&E’s infrastructure and disaster mitigation over the past decade and compare that to other utility companies who service a similar population – and we must work together to prevent rate hikes to address the shortcomings.”
Walke, west side, HD-87
“We appreciate the hard work of OG&E and their staff and contractors, and we appreciate that OG&E is contending with a wide array of problems in each neighborhood, including having to navigate many issues at each home individually,” Walke said.
“At some point, however, a line of communication must be opened up and answers and solutions must be provided. Two weeks without power is not simply a matter of convenience in our city, it is a literal necessity.”
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