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OG&E issues electricity alert

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Electricity customers in northwestern Oklahoma should turn down thermostats, turn off unnecessary lights and avoid using appliances to conserve power, Oklahoma Gas & Electric officials said Monday.

Cold weather could push electricity demand beyond capacity in that part of the state because of extensive damage during last month's ice storm, company officials said.

Temperatures were expected to dip into the teens in some areas and possibly the single digits in the Panhandle on Tuesday.

``Given the extreme damage and forecasted low temperatures, we believe that demand for electricity will be near our system's current ability to deliver it in some areas,'' said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford. ``We are taking several steps to ensure that we are able to meet demand, but it will be closer than we like to see it.

``Our customers can help us by taking some active conservation steps.''

Customers are asked to conserve electricity especially from 6 a.m. Tuesday through midnight Wednesday, Alford said.

Residents should set thermostats at 68 degrees or lower; keep refrigerator doors closed as much as possible; unplug unnecessary equipment; and open drapes to let sunshine warm their homes.

Last month's ice storm was the worst in OG&E's 100-year history, downing more than 250 miles of transmission lines. The company said it will be several weeks before it runs at full capacity.
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