Storm could affect state’s heating, electricity

BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: January 28, 2010 at 12:23 am •  Published: January 28, 2010

The rain, ice and snow expected to hammer Oklahoma in the next couple of days could wreak havoc on electrical service, while leading to increased demand for natural gas.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma officials are hoping the freezing rain forecast for today turns to snow as soon as possible. More ice means a greater chance of widespread power outages.

OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said snow presents less of a problem for the electrical system than ice and high winds.

Alford said OG&E’s extensive tree-trimming program is expected to help minimize any potential weather-related power outages in the state, regardless of what the storm brings with it.

PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford said it is difficult to predict what will happen with this storm, which is not expected to drop temperatures nearly as low as the year’s first cold snap.

That cold snap — several days of sub-10 degree temperatures earlier this month — resulted in unprecedented demand for gas, Oklahoma Natural Gas spokesman Don Sherry said.



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