Thousands Still Trying To Power Up

Tuesday, December 18th 2007, 6:37 am
By: News On 6

Tuesday became Day 10 without power for thousands around Tulsa. PSO says they have restored electrical service all but about 20,000 customers. And of those, it's estimated 10,000 have some kind of damage to their homes. The News On 6’s Steve Berg report that damage will be the responsibility of the homeowners before service can be restored.

For whatever reason, people might not be able to fix the damage to their home's electrical system. So the city is helping there, too. Michelle Carpenter is one of the last 24,000 people in Tulsa without power. Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor says this disaster is very different from any experienced in the past. She says the city's Operation Power Up will reimburse electricians who make repairs to a resident's home electrical system, but only if the resident makes arrangements through the city.

"If the city sends them out to your home for weather head assembly, the city will be paying them. If you hire them directly, you'll be paying them,” explained Mayor Taylor.

So for help, residents have two options, call the Operation Power Up hotline if you want the city to send you an electrician. Or if you already hired an electrician and paid them to do the work, you can get some financial help from the American Red Cross.

Carpenter's line was reattached, but it doesn't meet city code.

"We need it attached for real, so I'll probably call the city, that Power Up line,” said Michelle Carpenter.

That hotline number is 866-789-8898.

Carpenter's neighborhood, near 5th and Yale, is one of several that were hit with a double whammy of old infrastructure and heavy tree canopy. PSO’s Steve Penrose says they're gradually working to bury lines in those areas.

"In an older part of Tulsa, just last year or I guess in the last year-and-a-half, we've done four subdivisions with over 1,500 residential customers moved from overhead to underground,” said PSO’s Steve Penrose.

Gabriel Szasko who was just now returning home feels like PSO worked as hard as it could.

"I don't think we'll have this problem again because every tree that could break a power line pretty much did,” said Gabriel Szasko.

Tulsa County will also get financial help now that President Bush has made it a federal disaster area.

"That will enable us to be eligible for additional public assistance,” said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Again, the hotline number for help with weather head assembly is 866-789-8898.

Watch the video: Progress, But Thousands Still Without Power

Utility company web sites:

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas & Electric

North East Electric Cooperative

East Central Electric Cooperative

Verdigris Valley Electric

Indian Electric