LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - Winter weather is on the way, and power companies, like PSO, are getting prepared.
Tim Hushbeck, the external affairs manager for PSO, said this time of year, they are always getting prepared for a storm.
“We’re always going to be cautious to that," said Hushbeck. "The thing about weather is that it’s not a perfect science. So, a temperature difference in a small area can make a huge difference as to what happens, and that’s why we have to prepare. That’s why we have to take these precautions and call in.”
Right now, PSO is in pre-storm mode, where they are making sure all employees will be in town, as well as having their contractors, and contractors from other states on standby.
“We tend to air on the side of caution," said Hushbeck. "I know people have seen us before where we’ve brought people in and didn’t have to use them. But, we would rather be safe than sorry in that situation. We just think it’s prudent to do that.”
Hushbeck said the main thing PSO is watching for is ice and wind.
“Ice forms on the power line, and generally, for the most part, it’s not the weight of the ice, but it forms what we call a wing, which will make the lines gallop up and down, kind of like if you were cracking a whip of something like that," said Hushbeck. "That’s when it tends to tear things up. So, really it’s a combination of ice forming and the amount of wind that’s associated with it.”
Hushbeck also said to avoid contact with power lines.
“Stay away from a downed power line," said Hushbeck. "It’s one of the most dangerous and one of the things that scares me to death with the public, ever. Don’t assume that it’s some other line. If a line’s down, respect it, stay away from it. Let a professional come out there and take care of it without you trying to determine if it’s a cable line or a telephone line or an electric line.”
Hushbeck said they will be working diligently during this weekend’s winter weather.
“Hopefully, we won’t have long outages," said Hushbeck. "Our guys will be working hard to get it back on. So, I think people will be in pretty good shape if they use a little common sense and try to keep themselves safe by staying off the roads and letting our guys do their job.”
If you have an electric garage door opener, Hushbeck said a power outage will keep it from working, so make sure you keep your house keys on you. He also said to keep supplies, like blankets, nearby, to stay warm.