The Duncan Banner

Local News

October 2, 2013

In the dark

Comanche without power indefinitely?

COMANCHE — Comanche city officials met in the dark for an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to discuss solutions for the recent power outage.

Residents may be without power for most of today. The situation did not set well with Comanche Mayor Debbie Hancock or the rest of the city council.

“This is ridiculous,” said Hancock.

Gary Williams, Comanche public works director, was notified of several electrical issues across the city at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Half an hour later, it was decided to turn off power to all of Comanche.

“The new transmission in the electric substation was showing a fault,” said Williams.

“It blew the circuit switches, which is like blowing the breaker in your house. There was nothing to do but shut down the whole town down at that point.”

The outage affects 800 connections in the city and about 1,700 Comanche residents. Jim McAvoy, manager of engineering services for Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority where Comanche purchases its power from, said during the meeting OMPA and S&C were working diligently to get power restored.

S&C is the company hired to do the rehaul on the Comanche substation, which has not yet been completed. The installation of the new transformer was one of the final steps of the renovation. It has not yet been determined if the new transformer is defective.

“Our goal is to get the town powered by tonight (Tuesday),” said McAvoy. “That isn’t a guarantee though.”

Repairs to the circuit switches total $13,730. Rehabilitation of the old transformer, which will be used to sustain the town for up to a week, will amount to $48,650.

“We should be able to get our money back,” Hancock said.

The rental of a mobile transformer is necessary in the next week to take the place of the old transformer so it can be repaired. Cost for the rental for three days, technicians, shipping, installation and uninstallation will total about $43,000.

The council expressed concerns about the amount of money needed to make repairs for what they felt was not the city’s responsibility. S&C did not have a representative at the emergency meeting and Hancock said she felt they needed to explain their part in what went wrong.

“I think the contractor should be here,” she said. “I think they should be approached and made to understand the council made these approvals to get the citizens their power back. We expect them to step up.”

While the rented mobile transformer is in place, efforts to figure out if the new transformer is bad will be made. If it is found to be defective, the old transformer will be repaired for long term use. Should the new transformer be in good condition, work will be done to make sure what happened Tuesday morning does not occur again, said McAvoy.

Comanche Police Department also addressed the lack of power by putting more officers on duty.

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