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Oklahoma Gas and Electric crews returning to Oklahoma after hurricane help

A work crew for OG&E holds a prejob briefing as it prepares to go to work on a project to support the utility's power distribution system. [THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
A work crew for OG&E holds a prejob briefing as it prepares to go to work on a project to support the utility's power distribution system. [THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]

OG&E crews headed home

Oklahoma Gas & Electric line crews assisting with recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura are on their way home.

The 65-member team of both line workers and resource personnel worked a 14-day period to help Entergy Texas and Entergy Louisiana, utilities that serve Gulf Coast communities in those states, rebuild infrastructure and restore power to customers.

The crews, which completed their work without logging an accident or injury, were expected to arrive in their respective service districts before the end of the day.

“We were honored to have the opportunity to help our neighbors in Texas and Louisiana in their time of need,” said Donnie Jones, OG&E’s vice president of utility operations. “Our team worked safely and tirelessly for 14 days straight. We’re glad to welcome them home.”

Officials said OG&E spent the first six days of deployment working with Entergy Texas in the Beaumont area, where they were able to restore power for thousands of customers.

From there, they deployed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by Laura.

The hurricane’s eye wall passed directly over Lake Charles, causing catastrophic and widespread damage to the area’s transmission and distributions systems, requiring nearly a complete rebuild.

During their eight-day stint in Lake Charles, OG&E crews replaced 124 poles, repaired 228 spans of conductor and replaced 34 transformer stations to help rebuild the distribution system so it will be ready once the transmission system is back online.

The Oklahoma City-based utility is a member of the Midwest Mutual Assistance and Southeast Electrical Exchange, which dispatches mutual assistance teams when widespread outages happen.

Companies impacted by major outage events, including OG&E, draw restoration workers from other, unaffected companies to increase the size of their workforce to more quickly restore services to customers.

Staff reports

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