Powerful ice storms downed electrical lines and towers across Oklahoma and Texas Monday leaving hundreds of thousands of without power as of Wednesday. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, reported roughly 373,000 households and businesses across the state were still without power. Warmer weather is expected by today to help melt some of the ice and let emergency crews repair the grid although Oklahoma Gas & Electric said it has restored service to 100,000 homes so far.
Two towers in the region collapsed from the combination of wind and ice, including an 1,100 foot tower that carries KTBO-TV and is owned by Trinity Broadcasting. A witness on social media said the structure had up to three inches of ice on it that contributed to the collapse. “It will be down indefinitely,” said a company spokesman. Another tower in Oklahoma City reportedly belonging to Tyler Media Group was brought down by the storm as well. At deadline, calls to the company went to voicemail and were unanswered.
Verizon issued the following statement yesterday to their customers. “While commercial power is out in many parts of Oklahoma and Texas, most of Verizon’s cell sites remain online thanks to backup batteries and generators. These batteries and generators keep our cell sites and switch facilities up and running which allows us to keep our customers connected.”