Oklahoma crews work around the clock to restore power

BY DARLA SLIPKE Modified: February 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm •  Published: February 2, 2010

Thousands of people in southwestern Oklahoma are now in their sixth day without power.

Electric companies continue to work around the clock, but officials aren't sure how much longer it will take to restore electric service to everyone.

In some counties, hospitals and water treatment plants have been running on generators since Thursday. Emergency managers urge those who remain without power to visit one of the many shelters and warming areas that have been set up since last week's storm.

Chris Killmer, spokesman for Comanche County, said power companies managed to restore power to about 5,000 customers overnight. About 16,000 customers in Comanche County still were without power this morning, Killmer said.

City of Lawton officials are asking residents to conserve water after a generator running the Medicine Park treatment plant failed. Electricians are working to repair the generator and emergency operation workers have requested a backup generator from the state. In the meantime, the city will receive water from another treatment plant.

Killmer said officials hope to have power restored in most of the Lawton-area later today. In other areas of the county, Killmer said there's no telling how long power will be down.

On Sunday night, 2.5 miles of power lines fell in the Fletcher area, creating a setback to power companies.

"They're basically having to re-do everything," Killmer said.

Killmer said most residents are being self-sufficient and taking care of others.

"Now in day six of some people without power, we're asking them to check in on family and friends," Killmer said. "It may still be two or three days until they get power."

The county has nine emergency shelters, two warming centers and a feeding station set up to help people without power.

Junior Hardy, a volunteer at the emergency operations center in Altus, said much of Jackson County is still without power. Emergency operation workers are keeping people informed through radio broadcasts, Hardy said. Many people are using a shelter set up on Falcon Road, he said.

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