Oklahoma Power Company Workers Help With Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts

Friday, September 30th 2022, 9:39 pm

Hundreds of Oklahoma power company workers are helping Florida residents recover from Hurricane Ian's devastation.

Rebuilding the grid in post-hurricane conditions is no easy task. Travis Andrews with PSO would know; he's helped recovery efforts after nearly half a dozen hurricanes before.

“Florida asked for help and we’re happy to come down here and help them," he said.

Friday marks day five. The crews are working 16–18-hour shifts. Friday night the crews slept in bunk beds in a semi-trailer.

High winds from the storm ripped up trees and poles, scattering power lines all across city streets. It's Andrews' job to get them back up again.

“They have a lot of poles broke, a lot of wire down. So our crews have just been replacing poles, we, in the background here we got a couple of broke poles we’re about to work on now," he said.

With a supply chain in shambles, it's been hard to come by everything from replacement poles to warm meals.

“It’s hard to get material, we just tried to get some lunch and all the lunch places were closed. There was no food in Walmart and stuff, so we found a few bags of chips," he said.

For the last few days, the crew of 150 people from Tulsa, McAlester and Lawton have been working on three different main power lines or feeders. They hope to energize one Friday night.

"I don’t know how many people that will affect but it will affect I’m sure a couple thousand," he said.

OG&E sent its own crew of 95 linemen and support personnel down to Florida.

There are still hundreds of thousands of people without power. Both PSO and OG&E expect their crews to stay for a few more days.


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