Nearly 300,000 Oklahomans still without power from weekend storms


From one end of the state to the other, tens of thousands of utility customers remain without electrical power following the Saturday night tornadoes and straight winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour. One man in Oilton was killed when the winds toppled a large tree onto his home. Another person was killed in McCurtain County.

The combined outages from the state’s major utilities totaled 294,000 as of Monday noon.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric along with Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives have several thousand crew members working on restoring power.

OG&E said it had 4,000 operations personnel and that as of Monday midday, they had 29,000 customers without electricity, down from a peak of 139,000. Hardest hit areas were in Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Fort Smith where power poles were either snapped or bent and trees downed by the powerful winds.

OG&E said 79% of the customers who originally lost power over the weekend had service restored by late Monday morning. Its crews hoped to complete a visual inspection of damage to an estimated 16,000 miles of overhead lines.

The utility explained that once OG&E crews repair the power grid,  it planned to prioritize restoration for the community’s essential services, such as hospitals, police stations, fire departments, public works, and other critical infrastructure. As those facilities come online, operations personnel will focus on neighborhoods, individual homes and businesses experiencing an outage.

PSO reported the 90-mph winds snapped more than 700 poles, cross-arms and brought down wires and the company described the power restoration effort as the worst since the 2007 ice storm. The worst damage was reported across the Tulsa and McAlester areas.

As of Monday morning, 165,000 customers in Tulsa were without electricity.

Storm downs power lines, causes damage in Oklahoma

More than a third of PSO’s customers were impacted by the storm. As of Monday, the utility estimated restoration might be finished in Idabel in the far southeast part of the state. Other restoration projections included Tulsa rural including Chouteau, Vinita and Grove by late Wednesday afternoon; Tulsa metro by late Saturday afternoon and the majority of its customers by Saturday afternoon.

PSO said it had commitments from more than 2,700 line workers, forestry and support personnel, some coming from as far away as New Jersey and Delaware. PSO already had 700 workers called to make emergency repairs since the Saturday night storm.

The OAEC reported it still had 12,211 customers without electrical service as of Monday.