Storms late Wednesday into Thursday morning knocked power out to thousands of local SWEPCO customers and some outages could continue into Friday.
SWEPCO says at the peak of the outages early Thursday morning 64,000 customers were without power in its service area. By 4 p.m. Thursday that number had been reduced to 23,000. Strong wind gusts slowed the ability of repair crews to fix damaged power lines.
"That's hampering some of our recovery efforts," says SWEPCO spokesman, Scott McCloud, adding "our guys can't safely get up in a bucket truck if it's (wind gusts) 30 to 35 miles per hour."
Further complicating efforts to restore power is damage sustained by transmission lines from power plants to distribution lines. "We've got to get the main substation transmission lines back on before we can do anything along streets and alleyways in back of houses," says McCloud.
SWEPCO has called in an additional 312 line and support workers from Texas and Oklahoma to aid in power restoration.