Muskogee and area residents have been through a lot so far this year, and in order to get through this brutal winter storm, power companies are forced to ask for our help.

The Southwest Power Pool, the power grid operator for a region covering 14 states in the central U.S. has declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 3. They have asked member utility companies to conduct rolling power outages.

Utility companies have sent out notices about the possibility of rolling power outages, and tough as it may be, we all have to be prepared. 

Have flashlights and candles ready. Have extra blankets ready. Make sure your electronics are charged. Stay inside. 

Everyone needs more natural gas right now than normal, which has created demand for heat because of the cold. Much of Oklahoma's electricity is powered by natural gas.

Oklahoma’s PSO, which serves nearly 562,000 customers in eastern and southwest Oklahoma, started implementing controlled, rolling outages just after noon Monday.

Nearly 11,000 customers lost power for about an hour in an effort to reduce the load by about 44 megawatts, said Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for PSO.

Pretty much the entire state in some ways gets power through the grid operated by the Southwest Power Pool, even if indirectly, said Matt Skinner, Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman.

The good news about the rolling power outages is that we know it's just a matter of time before the power comes back on. And it will. Please be patient. We all have to do our part to get through this weather event.

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