Rain, Cooler Temperatures Ease Green Country Power Problems


Tuesday, August 9th 2011, 9:36 pm
By: News On 6


Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Over the last two weeks record water and power usage have strained pumps and substations across Green Country.

News On 6 has been getting questions from viewers wondering if the rain and small drop in temperatures has helped those problems. The answer is yes and no.

PSO says things are great now, while Tulsa's water director says not much has changed.

"We're having no problems at all meeting power demands," Ed Bettinger, with PSO, said.

That's a huge turnaround from last week when PSO made an emergency appeal, warning that rolling blackouts were inevitable unless it's 532,000 users cut back.

8/4/2011 Related Story: PSO Warns Rolling Blackouts Possible In Oklahoma

"From the Mexican border up to the Canadian border was just roasting in triple digit temperatures and the demand for power was just unprecedented," Bettinger said.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma reached an unofficial peak demand record during the high heat. Customers conserved, which helped, but a decrease to nearly seasonal temperatures helped even more.

"Power supply is able to keep up without any problem and we have plenty of reserves," Bettinger said.

The sprinkles did not change Tulsa's voluntary water rationing status.

7/21/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor Calls For Voluntary Water Conservation

"Right now, stage one is still in effect," said Tulsa Water Manager Clayton Edwards.

But customers are using less. Monday, we went through 188 million gallons.

"That was down pretty substantially from our previous highs last week of over 207 million gallons, so we are seeing a reduction in usage," Edwards said.

That amount is still well above last year's August average of 161 million gallons. With drought conditions extending through this October, the city asks that you use water wisely outdoors until we get a lot more rain.

Tulsa water rationing is monitored day-by-day. If we see more rain this week and consistently drop below 190 million gallons a day, the Mayor could rescind the voluntary rationing.