Edmond, Oklahoma City metro customers worry over ‘power blinks’ as Heat Alert continues

EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Edmond Electric and OG&E customers said their power went out or flickered on and off during EMSA’s first heat alert of the summer, but the power companies tell customers the outages are more of a coincidence than a result of climbing temperatures.

“When it goes down, it goes down. Everything goes down. Then you lose everything you save. You have to start all over,” said Scott Lancaster, an Edmond Electric customer.

“When it goes down, I’m done. And if it is out completely, I have to go find somewhere else to work,” said Sheri Smith, another Edmond Electric customer. “It went out completely for able 10 or 15 minutes and I think we lost power in between those two times as well.”

After the rolling blackouts hit the state during the historic October Ice storm, customers are on edge.

“I hope this isn’t the beginning of this happening a lot because Oklahoma’s way too hot for that,” said Smith.

The city of Edmond and OG&E said that’s not what’s happening.

Customers cranking up the air conditioning did increase the load on the grid, but the main issue was a substation needing repairs.

“That re-routing, we ended up with too much load in one area caused another equipment failure,” said Casey Moore with the city. “We made that repair and our crews have continued to do additional switching.”

Several OG&E customers also saw bumps in their power. The company said those are power blinks and they occur when a fault is found in the line.

“That automated equipment, when it’s trying to isolate that fault, so it won’t actually turn into an extended outage,” said Gayle Maxwell with the company. “Sometimes, it can cause a momentary interruption or a blink.”

Maxwell said the heat is just a coincidence.

“It just so happened to be a super hot day. It’s not necessarily related to the heat, sometimes the fault on that system can be caused by the heat but we do see other reasons for faults,” she said.

With the heat indexes already soaring and more humidity ahead, power companies are warning residents to save energy now.

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“When it’s hot and humid like this air conditioners have to work a lot harder and a lot longer,” said Moore.

They suggest pre-cooling your home starting at 11 a.m.

“You may want to turn it down to about 4-degrees from what you would normally run it at and allow that to pre-cool until about 2 o’clock,” said Maxwell.

OG&E also said try to lay off the energy between 2-7 p.m.

That’s when the demand is up and the grid is hard at work.

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