The Duncan Banner
Comanche residents were without electricity for almost 17 hours Tuesday but power was restored at around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
For months, the city has been working on updating its electrical substation with one of the most recent changes being the installation of a new transformer. At about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the decision was made to cut off power to the town because of problems apparently stemming from the new transformer.
Circuit switches had blown causing electrical issues to much of the town. The City of Comanche, Duncan Power crews, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and S&C worked diligently Tuesday and Wednesday to first get power back to the city and then figure out what exactly what went wrong, according to a press release issued by OMPA.
“Today they are trying to identify the new transformer issue and check its fluids for possible contamination,” said Comanche Mayor Debbie Hancock. “I appreciate all efforts from every person who has been out there.”
Hancock said there is a possibility power may be turned back off today at about 4 p.m. for up to four hours in order for the crews to look further into the problem.
Temporary repairs were made to the old transformer to restore power Wednesday morning. Depending on the results from testing of the new transformer, it may be put back in place.
Should it be found to have a defect, a mobile transformer will be rented, a move approved by the Comanche Public Works board during an emergency meeting Tuesday night. The rented transformer will be used temporarily until long-term repairs can be made to the old transformer.
Reconn is the main contractor that did the work on the new transformer. Costs for all the repairs due to Tuesday’s issues are immense and Hancock said she and the board plan to hold the correct entity responsible for the problems.
“This is discouraging to be in the middle of a construction phase and this happens,” said Hancock.
“It’s electric service and the community depends on it. We have elderly and disabled. This is inconvenient and sometimes frightening. I want our citizens to feel safe.”
Lack of electricity is a hardship on not only Comanche’s 1,700 citizens, but also the numerous businesses owners, the mayor said. She added that without the business owners and residents dedicated to the city, the community would not be what it is.
“One thing I want to strive for is for our utilities to be very reliable for our citizens,” Hancock said.