OG&E assessing power grid damage from Oklahoma tornado
HOUSTON May 20 (Reuters) - Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co, a unit of OGE Corp, has begun to assess damage to its electric grid following Monday's tornado which left a path of destruction near Oklahoma City, a spokesman said Monday evening.
The utility has also called on outside utilities to help restore power in the area.
OG&E spokesman Brian Alford could not supply details about possible damage to OG&E's high-voltage network on Monday.
"We have a mix of outages on our system and are beginning the assessment process to determine the full extent of the damage to our transmission and distribution system," Alford said.
Alford said about 38,000 customers were without power early Monday evening. Nearly half the outages were in Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb.
The tornado, with winds of up to 200 miles per hour, ripped through two elementary schools and a hospital.
Monday's tornado followed a path similar to a devastating tornado that struck the state on May 3, 1999. That tornado ripped down four of five major power lines serving Oklahoma City, crumpling massive transmission towers and destroying substations and transformers.
It took months to rebuild OG&E's high-voltage network. OG&E reported more than $15 million in tornado damage in 1999.
Officials with the Southwest Power Pool, a grid agency that oversees the bulk power system in Oklahoma and neighboring states, could not be reached for comment.
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