DURANT – Spring storm season is just around the corner in Oklahoma, and the state is not out of the woods yet for an Arctic blast of winter to knock out power in some regions. Choctaw Nation Community Centers are taking precautions to keep the lights and heaters on, to keep the freezers freezing, and keep kitchens going for seniors’ lunches on Wednesdays. Eleven centers received new generators that are now without the backup power.
“The purpose is to keep the power on at the centers in case of a power failure in the area,” said Nick Cody, Director of Facilities Maintenance for the Choctaw Nation, the department handling the project. Bobby Risenhoover, Regional Facilities Manager, is directly overseeing the work. GDC is the contractor for the electrical installations.
Cody said the Cummings 100-kilowatt generators are enough to keep everything operating in the centers so that activities and services will not be interrupted.
There will be, however, temporary losses of electricity for about half a day while the generators are being installed. The first three installations are taking place this week. The Choctaw Nation Community Center at Stigler received its generator Monday. Starting at 1:00 pm, the Spiro Center will be closed one to three hours Thursday, Jan. 26, and the Poteau center will be closed for one to three hours Friday, Jan. 27.
Robyn Morgan, Manager of the Choctaw Community Centers, said, “The centers will remain open during the installations, and a staff member will be on hand if anyone needs help or has questions during that time. But there will be no power at the center while the work is going on.”
For the past several months, wiring and concrete slabs construction have been taking place to support the generators.
“We are going to do about three centers at a time,” said Cody. “They will all be in a general area; then we will move on to the next area.”
Future sites and dates scheduled for electrical shutdowns, all starting at 1 p.m., include:
· Wilburton – Feb. 2
· Crowder – Feb. 3
· Coalgate – Feb. 6
· The announcements of dates is coming for Antlers, Broken Bow, Idabel, Smithville, Wright City Risenhoover advises, “We will need to have everyone at these Choctaw Nation sites to check their calendars with site personnel to notify us if there are events already scheduled for the days. For events already planned, we will look to modify the plan around them. But please don’t add any new ones if at all possible.” Further, he notes, “Inclement weather can and probably will interfere with this schedule, so be mindful that the program is proposed and could be subject to change with conditions.”
For additional information you may reach Nick Cody at 800-522-6170, Ext. 2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bobby Risenhoover‘s contact is 918-967-9473 or email@example.com. Robyn Morgan is at 580-326-7551, Ext. 6032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.