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Lightning knocks out power to parts of Lawton

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LAWTON, Okla._A lightning strike to a power line near 35th Street and Ferris Avenue left nearly 800 Lawton residents without power and caused Comanche County Memorial Hospital to switch over to their generator.

The power outage happened around 11:00 a.m. when the power line snapped in half and fell into the backyard of several homes. That fallen line sparked a small fire, which Lawton firefighters were able to put out quickly.

Emergencies are not only something the hospital takes care of; it's something they plan for. That's why when the power outage happened they were prepared. However, for some of those that live around the hospital, it was a sudden surprise.

"Just heard a pop in the backyard, and sparks everywhere, power went out," said Michael McManama as he recalled the moment the line fell.

It's a pop that brought power outages to some in central Lawton, like Stephanie Foxx’s house. The lack of power brought Foxx and her turtle, Aggie, outside.

"She has fresh grass, fresh greens, and plenty of heat," said Foxx.

But, while it's fun in the sun for some, it could spell trouble for others including Comanche County Memorial Hospital. An emergency like this one is something they are always prepared for.

"We test our generators on a weekly basis, 4 to 5 times a month," explained Thomas Weston, Director of Engineering for CCMH.

But normally when this happens, it's just a glitch in power but today's power outage was different.

"With today's currents, all of the power was shut down. Then the critical circuits like our emergency lighting, all of our OR's, surgery rooms, and the Cath labs, they never lost power but because our generator is designed to kick on and pick that power back up," said Weston.

So when power cut off, it was back on in less than a second to keep everything up and running. Meaning the hospital was still able to take care of everyone it needed to.

"There were no issues with the power loss as far as our operation goes and everything was safe and we were still providing quality care," said Weston.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital said they had to run their generators for about 30 minutes until PSO was able to reroute power to their facility.

Some of the residents had their power back within an hour and everyone was restored by around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.


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