ARKANSAS, USA — UPDATE: SWEPCO rotating outages have ended according to the spokesperson Carey Sullivan. OG&E has also ended its controlled outages.
Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) and OG&E will temporarily interrupt power in parts of its service territory to reserve resources and reduce the electric system load and prevent more sweeping area outages.
SWEPCO says this is an emergency procedure prompted by extreme winter weather.
Utilities across multiple states will start the controlled outages.
The action is being taken at the direction of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional organization that manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states.
An OG&E spokesman said this was not a decision made by OG&E but the Southwest Power Pool, which started conservation efforts on Feb. 9. Companies only move to planned outages when things have reached a critical stage.
The OG&E planned outages will happen over the next day or two and have already started in some regions. The goal is to have outages last less than an hour for most customers.
SWEPCO will be rotating the areas impacted by the controlled outages so that customers are not without service for more than a few hours when possible.
The amount of time it could take to restore service could be delayed in some cases due to the system and weather conditions.
SWEPCO says the temporary outages should not affect critical public health and public safety facilities.
Customers are advised to prepare for electric service outages as the winter storm continues in the next few days.
SWEPCO says all efforts are being taken to return service to normal as quickly as possible.
Those who still have power are asked to conserve energy.
Updates to the situation will be provided on the SWEPCO website and social media sites.
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