Oklahoma Ice Storms Leave Thousands Without Power on Eve of Early Voting

By | October 29, 2020

Oklahoma Ice Storms Go away Hundreds With out Energy on Eve of Early Voting

Lots of of 1000’s in Oklahoma are nonetheless with out energy on Wednesday after highly effective ice storms downed electrical strains throughout the state on Monday, creating hazardous circumstances the day earlier than in-person early voting is about to start within the state.

In response to the Oklahoma Division of Emergency Administration, some 373,000 households and companies throughout the state had been nonetheless with out energy on Wednesday, affecting an estimated 300,000 folks in Oklahoma Metropolis alone.

David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma Metropolis, stated he hoped hotter climate anticipated by Friday would assist soften the ice that had introduced down energy strains and felled bushes throughout roads all through town.

“If you don’t have energy it’s one factor, however when it’s chilly, it’s harmful,” he stated on Wednesday. “There’s an opportunity that some received’t have energy via the weekend, however not less than they’ll be heat.”

Noting that maybe half of Oklahoma Metropolis’s 650,000 residents had been nonetheless with out energy on Wednesday, Mr. Holt stated he had opened a warming middle within the metropolis’s conference middle for daytime use and was evaluating choices for holding it open in a single day if wanted.

Town has one location for early voting — the Oklahoma County Election Board close to the State Capitol — and as of Wednesday morning, it had energy and was anticipated to open to voters on Thursday, Mr. Holt stated.

Though ice storms of this sort aren’t unusual throughout Oklahoma winters, having one this sturdy so early within the fall is uncommon.

“This storm had a major influence as a result of our bushes had not but shed their fall foliage, so the ice had rather more floor space to fall upon,” stated Brian Alford, a spokesman for Oklahoma Gasoline & Electrical Firm, which offers electrical energy to Oklahoma Metropolis. “We’re afraid we’d see wind gusts tomorrow that would trigger extra harm, but it surely’s not less than now above freezing.”

Mr. Alford stated that though the utility had restored energy to 100,000 households and companies to this point, 260,000 had been nonetheless with out electrical energy. Greater than 2,000 staff and contractors had been working to revive providers, he added.

The Oklahoma State Election Board stated {that a} lack of electrical energy wouldn’t maintain Oklahomans from voting.

“Oklahoma has a paper-ballot-based system, which ensures that voting in Oklahoma will go on no matter whether or not or not we’ve got energy,” stated Misha Mohr, a board spokeswoman.

The warming temperatures can deliver issues of their very own. When the load of the ice is faraway from already pressured tree limbs, extra are anticipated to interrupt and convey down energy strains.

Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Division of Emergency Administration, stated that additional losses had been possible because the climate warms again up.

“Our electrical suppliers try so onerous to get energy again,” Ms. Cain stated. “However Mom Nature is simply working towards them.”

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