Don’t take electricity for granted!



Growing up in the early days of REA in Western Kansas when power outages were a routine thing, resulting in candles and kersene lamps, I had a great respect for the need for energy.

When winter storms hit, you knew the electricity could or would be off for days at a time. So you learned quickly, you don’t take electricity for granted.

Just recently, I experienced an outage on an out-of-town trip and spent the night in Clayton, New Mexico. Around Oklahoma City, we are used to quick response and work by the line crews.

But at the historic Eklund Hotel, everyone was in the dark. In fact, the entire city of Clayton was without power last Thursday night. All of Union County didn’t have lights.

Eklund Hotel - Wikipedia

Apparently, lightning from one of those high-desert thunderstorms struck some facilities in the country and since Clayton receives its power from a rural electric cooperative, the city was in the dark. The only lights were at the city fire station where there is an emergency generator.

I’m writing about this because it certainly affected people’s energy needs. Gas stations couldn’t pump gas. I don’t believe Clayton has any EV chargers and even if there were some, they would have been inoperable, leaving electric car owners waiting for the power to come back on.

At the Eklund, the restaurant couldn’t function. Fortunately, the historic bar could.

M. Home Page - Hotel Eklund

It was a long wait. The power was lost at 6 p.m. and by 5 the next morning, it hadn’t been restored and since I was in need of Wi-Fi to finish OK Energy Today’s newsletter, I headed west toward Raton. Along the way, a service station adjacent to the highway was in the dark and at least one driver was parked next to the powerless gas pumps….waiting for the electricity to return.

Raton had power and sitting in a restaurant, I was able to get access to Wi-Fi and send your newsletter a few hours late.

But it certainly makes one think about the need for energy and some of the challenges that come with it.

Good thing I wasn’t driving an electric car that was in need of recharging.