PSO Customers In Broken Arrow Get Power Restored Before Midnight

Wednesday, August 11th 2010, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Several thousand people in Broken Arrow endured several hours without power Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday evening.

About 4,000 customers lost power Wednesday afternoon.  Stan Whiteford, PSO spokesman, said all customers had their power restored by 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

But PSO says new technology may make outages like this less of a hassle.

People in a neighborhood near 121st and Lynn Lane came home to everyone's worst nightmare on a triple digit day: no power.

"We'd been out shopping a little bit and came home and there was no electricity, and obviously it was a little warm," said Conrad Trapp.

Bill Engelhartt even broke out the generator he usually reserves for winter weather.

"I figure if I get it all set up and get everything ready to run, why it will come back on," he said. "Isn't that the way that works?"

And that's exactly what happened. Several minutes after he dragged it to the backyard, the air conditioning came back on.

The problem started at a nearby substation. Someone called it in, PSO crews were dispatched to investigate, and they got the juice flowing again.

That's standard procedure, says company spokesperson Stan Whiteford.

"I know a lot of people think that's the technology right now, that every time there's a power outage a light pops up somewhere that shows this," Stan Whiteford, PSO Spokesperson, said. "That's not the case."

But the company unveiled its smart meters Wednesday. Over the next six months, they will be installed in every home in Owasso. Unlike traditional meters, the new ones are designed to relay real-time information back to PSO, meaning the company should be able to react more quickly when problems arise.

"It should cut down on the number of power outages in that area, and when one does happen, it should be able to be restored much quicker," Whiteford said.

If they work, the smart meters will eventually be installed in all its customers' homes.

The smart meters will also allow customers to monitor their usage in real time, so you would not have to wait until you get your bill to find out how much power you used.