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Insight Into PSO's Power Grid

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The number of Tulsans in the dark went down again on Monday.  PSO says about 32,000 customers in the Tulsa area are still without power. The number of Tulsans in the dark went down again on Monday. PSO says about 32,000 customers in the Tulsa area are still without power.
At 5th and Darlington, the lights are on for some residents, while their neighbors are on their eighth day without power. At 5th and Darlington, the lights are on for some residents, while their neighbors are on their eighth day without power.
PSO estimates 95% of the power to the area will be restored by midnight on Tuesday. PSO estimates 95% of the power to the area will be restored by midnight on Tuesday.

Power is on for many more residents, but thousands still remain in the dark.  Some may be wondering why does everyone else in my neighborhood have power.  News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports it's a simple question, but the answer is a little more complicated.

"The power grid, as you might understand by now, is a fairly complicated animal out there," said PSO's Stan Whiteford.

Whiteford is a spokesman for PSO and all the workers trying to restore power in Tulsa.  Over the last week of power outages, he says he's heard just about every electrical question in the book.  Now that some power is restored, Whiteford says one very popular question needs to be answered.

Why is the restoration so hit and miss?

"It can be neighborhood by neighborhood, it can be block to block, it can even be house to house," said Whiteford.

Whiteford says power grids are not set up in an orderly fashion.  So power's not restored that way either.

"The power has been restored to these lateral lines and to the service drops that come off to the individual houses. However, right across the street here there are no overhead lines here...they're being served from a different direction, from lines that are running north and south instead of these east-west lines," said Whiteford.

For people in the dark with neighbors in the light, it's getting old.

"Yeah, sure. It's frustrating when you see everybody around you has power and you don't," said Tulsa resident Tony Fischetti.

For other neighbors it's not up to PSO.  You may need to replace your own equipment before you can power up.  A common problem is damaged weather heads, which is a piece of metal that attaches to the electrical box on your home.  Finding replacements has been difficult.

"There's still a shortage.   A lot of these houses use the same common material.  Some of it's still kind of hard to find, but we're getting it as it comes in," said Electrician Wayne Miller.

In response to the demand, The City of Tulsa has set up a weather head supply depot at the Fairgrounds for licensed contractors.  It's just one more step toward turning the lights back on for every neighbor in town.

Even if you weren't affected by power outages you could still see the effects of it on your PSO bill.  PSO says it will issue estimated power bills to about half its customers.  PSO's usual meter reader worked as guides for the out-of-state power crews.

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