Frigid temperatures combined with below zero wind chill factors are causing a strain on power providers as customers attempt to stay warm. Power customers across multiple states, as well as the River Valley, are being affected and things could get worse.
The Grand River Dam Authority has stated that the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3 effective immediately. Alert Level 3 is the highest alert level that SPP uses in a situation of energy shortage. Under the EEA Level 3 declaration, "SPP must utilize operating reserves below the required minimum or ask its member utilities to implement controlled service interruptions."
"Controlled Service Interruptions" (rotating outages) could begin soon unless power usage is drastically reduced. "Controlled Service Interruptions" are already taking place in Texas.
Not all GRDA customers will be affected at one time, but on a rotational basis. GRDA representatives stated that this action may negatively impact power delivery to some GRDA customers, resulting in a controlled interruption of service that may persist for an hour or longer.
An OG&E representative stated that this will be the first time in their history that they will be implementing the rotating outages.
The City of Sallisaw is alerting all of its customers to take action to eliminate all unnecessary usage of electricity at this time. Conservation methods include turning down thermostats to 68 degrees if health permits; close shades and blinds to reduce heat loss through windows; turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances; postpone using large appliances such as dishwashers, ovens and clothes dryers. Businesses should minimize the use of lighting and other electric consuming equipment as much as possible. Large consumers of electric should consider reducing non-essential production processes.
"As always, during these types of events, customers should have a plan in place in case of power outages. Keep cell phones charged. Check on your elderly family members and neighbors. Take care of your pets and bring them inside," Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton stated.
Sallisaw residents with electric or water issues can call the Sallisaw Police Department at 918-775-4141 or 775-4177.
Rural customers should call their power provider. Call 911 in case of an emergency.
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