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Many Oklahomans Still Without Power Following Ice Storms; Polling Sites Prioritized For Restoration

Facebook / Oklahoma Gas & Electric

A week after historic ice storms caused major disruption in much of Oklahoma, triggering state of emergency declarations for 47 of the state's 77 counties, many homes and businesses are still without power.

As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oklahoma Gas & Electric was reporting 134,215 outages.

Dallas Rowley, OG&E incident commander, said Sunday evening that crews were working "around the clock" to restore power as quickly as possible, with hospitals, utility infrastructure, schools and polling places some of the locations being prioritized.

"According to most of our recent data, power has been restored to the vast majority of these polling places, which is more than 96% of the approximate 800 stations in our service area," Rowley said, adding the goal was to get all polling stations powered in time for Election Day.  

"We are also working with [the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management] to provide portable generators as a contingency, to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible," Rowley said.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, voting would still take place even without power. 

"Oklahoma uses a paper ballot-based system, which is extremely beneficial in situations like this," according to Misha Mohr, public information officer for the state election board. "Our voting equipment is designed with an emergency bin to accommodate power outages and other technical issues."

OG&E has given an estimate of this Friday as the point by which all service will be restored.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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