Thanksgiving goes cold
Thanksgiving goes cold
TCEC monitored the Thanksgiving weekend weather all week prior to prepare for the possibility of a major ice event. Members were notified through press releases, TCEC’s website and social media to prepare themselves as well.
The icy weather and winds did cause outages throughout TCEC’s service area beginning about 7 p.m. Thanksgiving evening and continued until power was restored to all affected areas at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, November 27. Outages throughout the weather event totaled 4,711 with varying durations and locations.
“Regardless of year-round maintenance, big storms like this will damage equipment and cause outages,” Zac Perkins, TCEC chief operating officer, said. “Our entire focus is on safely and quickly restoring service based on a detailed and well-practiced action plan. I will note we were fortunate no vehicle accidents downed poles or power lines this time.”
He explained that galloping lines are often the cause of outages during icy and windy weather. When lines ‘gallop,’ they slap together and even break from the force which results in outages. Rather than working to restore power when lines are galloping, it is better to leave the power off until galloping lines subside because it can cause extensive damage to the electrical system, including burning out lines and causing surges to substations. Because of this and other hurdles, like muddy or icy roads, the time to restore power cannot always be predicted.
Perkins said the cooperative does use technology where it can re-route power to as many members as possible until repairs can be made.
During major storms, the cooperative brings all available resources to bear, including support from contractor crews and other cooperatives if needed. The Thanksgiving storm did not require this for TCEC but the cooperative did send crews to Northfork Electric Cooperative headquartered in Sayre, Caddo Electric Cooperative headquartered in Binger, and Northwestern Electric headquartered in Woodward, Oklahoma to assist in restoring power to their members.
TCEC members should be aware of the possibility for additional smaller outages as the weather gets warmer in the coming days. Once freed from the weight of the ice, power lines and trees will jump or rebound. As this happens, power lines could slap together or break resulting in more outages. Members can report outages by calling 580.652.2418 or through the TCEC Mobile app.
“We know that being without power is never easy,” Perkins said. “We have been truly humbled by the support and patience displayed by our membership over the last few days. TCEC’s members’ words of encouragement are just some of the many things that make our cooperative great.”
For outage preparation tips and safety practices go to www.tcec.coop. TCEC will continue to provide updates on social media that can also be viewed on TCEC’s website home page or through the free TCEC Mobile app.
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Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed to improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit www.tcec.coop.