12/17/2007
PSO Urges Public Caution during Ice Storm Recovery

Update: As of 1:30 p.m. today, PSO had restored power to approximately 212,000 customers, with approximately 43,000 customers remaining without electricity, primarily in the Tulsa metro area. PSO has more than 2,400 line workers and 2,200 tree trimmers working to restore power. For regular updates on the recovery process, including a map with estimated restoration times for the Tulsa metro area, see PSOklahoma.com.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma today urged residents to use extreme caution as thousands of utility crew workers and vehicles work to restore power following the ice storm that began Dec. 9 and peaked Dec. 11.
 
“As we tackle the remaining hardest hit parts of the Tulsa metro area, utility vehicles and repair personnel are concentrated in smaller areas,” said PSO President Stuart Solomon. “We’re asking everyone – adults and kids alike – to be alert, stay clear of vehicles and equipment as the crews work, and watch out for vehicles on the move.”
 
In addition, PSO is asking residents to help prevent dog bites and protect utility workers. “As crews work to restore electric service, they are encountering dogs that slow or prevent their work,” Solomon said. “Please help the crews by putting your dogs up so we can work safely to restore power in your area.”
 
Customers are asked to refrain from asking questions of the power crews at work in their   neighborhoods.
 
“We understand that customers who are still experiencing a power outage want to know when their electric service will be restored, but the crews are not there to provide information.  The crews are assigned to the neighborhoods to restore power and are focused on that task only,” said Solomon.
 
Customers who have questions about the estimated date for power restoration in their area can either refer to the outage restoration map posted on PSOklahoma.com, or can call PSO’s Customer Solutions Center at 1-888-216-3523.
  
Additional public safety reminders:
 
·        Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard.
 
·        You should never attempt to trim or remove trees near a power line. Serious life-altering injuries and fatalities have occurred when untrained or improperly trained individuals have attempted to do this type of work while the line was energized. During storm recovery situations, you should consider all power lines to be energized, even if the lines are down.
 
·        If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “backfeed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator. See additional information about use of backup generators on www.psoklahoma.com.

·        In the event of a major power interruption, life-support customers are encouraged to contact PSO’s toll-free customer service number to advise our representatives of their situation. Due to the nature of restoration activity, PSO cannot assure priority restoration for life-support customers. Life-support customers are advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves in the event of a power loss. Contact relatives or friends for assistance or temporary accommodations in the event of a prolonged outage. Keep emergency phone numbers (physicians, hospitals, safety services, utilities) posted near your telephone.
 
·        Stealing copper or other metal from electric lines, substations or other electrical equipment isn’t just illegal. Thieves risk coming in contact with energized equipment, which can result in serious injury or death.
 
 The company’s goal is to complete restoration to 95 percent of the customers who can take electric service by midnight, Tuesday, Dec. 18.  The remaining 5 percent include customers who have individual service damage, and small groups of customers who have severe, localized damage to the portion of the electric system that serves them.
 
PSO, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is an electric utility company serving approximately 520,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.  Based in Tulsa, PSO has more than 4,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and is the largest provider of wind energy in the state.  News releases and other information about PSO can be found on the World Wide Web at PSOklahoma.com.



PSO Corporate Communications
Media Hotline 918-599-2700

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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