Out Of State Crews Helping To Restore Power

Wednesday, February 4th 2009, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TITANIC, OK -- More than 4,200 homes and businesses are still in the dark in eastern Oklahoma.

The lights went out after last Monday's ice storm.  One of the hardest hit areas is the small community of Titanic.

The town is home to an upholstery shop and thousands of residents who have been left in the dark.  Their only saving grace has been a generator.   

"We turn it on about every four hours for an hour or so just to warm up the trailer," said Joseph Roberts of Titanic.

Joseph Roberts lives in Titanic with his wife; they haven't had power since last Monday night.  The power line that should be on top of a pole is lying in the grass.

Roberts' father-in-law lives less than a mile away, he lost power at the same time, but his was restored two days ago.

"Oh it was great, everyone had to go and turn every light on in the house," said Randy Ritchie of Titanic.

The two men are like nearly 5,000 others across eastern Oklahoma since last week's winter blast.  The ice storm snapped tree limbs and bent branches like popsicle sticks.  Electrical crews from four states are here lending a helping hand to restore the power.

Ozark Electric Cooperative says roughly 470 people are working in its coverage area, which in Oklahoma includes Adair, Sequoyah, Delaware, and Cherokee Counties.

Officials expect power to be slowly restored throughout the week.  Randy Ritchie says the crews are doing the best they can.

"There's a lot of lines, a lot of trees down. You don't just go flip a switch and turn it back on.  It takes a while to clear those lines out," said Randy Ritchie of Titanic.

Ozark Electric Cooperative reports fewer than 10,000 people without power in its coverage area which includes much of northwestern Arkansas.  Officials say crews are working to energize a new line on Thursday in Oklahoma.