Tulsa electrical workers help Eastern utilities
BY JOHN STANCAVAGE World Business Editor
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 4:07 AM
Area employees of AEP-PSO continued to help Eastern utilities recover from superstorm Sandy on Wednesday, while other businesses assessed damage.
American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma sent 70 workers to Virginia on Sunday night and assigned 120 more in the past few days, spokesman Stan Whiteford said.
"Those workers are from all three PSO districts: Tulsa, McAlester and Lawton," he said. "Included are line workers, assessors, forestry contractors, dispatchers, fleet personnel and safety reps."
As of late Wednesday, 112 of the employees were assisting PSO's sister utility, Appalachian Power Co., primarily in Virginia; 57 were helping Consolidated Edison; and 20 were assigned to other utilities
Virginia received heavy snow from the superstorm. At one point, APCO, which also serves West Virginia and part of Tennessee, had 182,000 customers without power. By late Wednesday, the workers had restored power to more than 83,000 people.
Line-repair crews had to cope with not only difficult weather conditions but also the hilly terrain in the state.
"They're having to do almost all their work on the poles instead of from their buckets because the trucks can't get in to a lot of the rugged locations," Whiteford said.
The crews were told to prepare to stay two weeks. Relief employees could be sent then if work still needs to be done, the spokesman said.
The PSO workers helping Consolidated Edison were among 1,400 from across the country who traveled to New York City's power provider. As of midday Wednesday, Con Ed had restored electrical service to 109,000 customers, but there still were 786,000 customers without service, including large numbers in Manhattan and Brooklyn and in Westchester County.
Phillips 66 reported electrical power has been restored to its 238,000-barrels-per-day Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J. The refinery and its three storage terminals in the New Jersey/New York region remain shut down, however, the company said.
The Houston-based company said it will send personnel from other areas to assist with operational recovery efforts.
"Decisions regarding restarting our northeast U.S. operations will be made once post-storm assessments have been completed," a spokesman said.
Williams Cos. Inc. and Williams Partners LP, connected Tulsa natural gas processing, storage and transport firms, delayed their earnings reports from Tuesday to Wednesday.
So far, the storm damage had not dramatically impacted the Transco pipeline system, which serves New York and New Jersey among other markets, company spokesman Jeff Pounds said.
Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group said it would likely be Monday before the car-rental firm would be able to give a report on damage to fleet vehicles and properties.
Original Print Headline: Electrical workers aid coastal utilities
John Stancavage 918-581-8314