McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

December 7, 2013

PSO still prepared; no reports of outages

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Freezing rain in the winter storm that hit Oklahoma on Thursday and Friday mainly moved south of McAlester and Pittsburg County, sparing electric lines and poles in the immediate area.

When the winter storm had been forecast, there had been concerns of major power outages in the McAlester area.

“As far as I know, we did not have any ice-related outages here,” Public Service Company of Oklahoma Community Affairs Manager Frank Phillips said Friday.

Although some freezing rain fell in the McAlester area, it soon turned to sleet and snow with no significant ice accumulation on power lines or tree limbs.

However, counties to the south did not fare as well, with numerous outages reported in Choctaw and Pushmataha counties. In places including Hugo, Antlers, Sawyer and Fort Towson, approximately 4,900 outages were reported.

“They got the brunt of the freezing rain,” Phillips said.

“We have a lot of resources in there,” he said, referring to personnel such as line crews, electrical workers, tree crews and dispatchers sent to the affected area.

Phillips said the workers had to be extremely careful because trees and sometimes entire trees can still fall under the weight of the ice.

Some workers and equipment remained in the McAlester area.

“We mainly have support people working out of the McAlester operating center here,” Phillips said.

“We were very fortunate.

“We prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.