By Robert Medley
Eleven days after freezing drizzle began to drop trees and power lines in Yukon, the slow restoration of power continued.
But the number of power outages continued to drop Friday in Yukon, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. reported. Friday morning there were less than 200 outages remaining, about 180 before noon. The finish line was in sight for linemen from across the country who moved from outage area to outage area.
With power back on for most, customers are now looking to restore internet and cable services, utility workers said.
Damage to power lines and utility poles continued to be repaired across Yukon and will take weeks to complete.
But Yukon’s roadways and streets were clear of debris and power lines by Thursday, said police Maj. Matt Fairchild.
On Wednesday afternoon, with outage numbers below 1,000, a utility box truck driver hit a low-hanging wire in the 700 block of Ranchwood Blvd. The wire then pulled down the utility pole it was attached to on the east side of Ranchwood. The area was blocked off to traffic during the setback to restoration efforts.
On Thursday afternoon, the number of outages in Yukon was 388, OG&E reported.
Power had been restored for 85% of customers, or 372,000 statewide, OG&E reported.
It was the worst storm in OG&E’s history. It took more than 4,000 workers from 18 states who worked around the clock to restore power, according to OG&E officials.
“We have crews assigned to remove downed power lines. This is the largest number of storm-related outages in our history and the damage is extensive,” officials stated.
Fairchild said debris cleanup of tree limbs and branches continues curbside.
“Everything is clear for the most part and things are looking pretty good around, just a lot of cleanup to do,” Fairchild said.
No one was injured with the driver of the utility box truck clipped the wire that brought down the power pole on Ranchwood. There are many low-hanging wires that can be found around Yukon.
Davey Reynolds of Guthrie has been busy since Oct. 26 from Mustang to Choctaw in the Oklahoma City area. And he expects to get busier in Yukon when all of the power outages are restored. That is when people then need their cable and internet services restored, he said.
“We’re replacing the main cables up here,” Reynolds said. OG&E contractors had finished installing the new power pole.
“On Friday, everyone’s power should be back up. After that is when we start getting all our calls to get the cable back on,” Reynolds said. Ethan Caver, in a white hardhat, and Brandon Smith, in a bright orange one, both from Guthrie, assisted with new cable lines on the ground as Reynolds worked on the pole above them. They wrapped up the work before noon and headed back to another job that waited.