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■ currents ask your co-op


Q. A.


The weather is great outside, but lights just blinked. Why does that happen?


Most people associate blinking lights with high winds or bad weather of some sort, but that’s


not always the case. When your lights blink and the weather is clear, the likely culprit is some sort of critter. In southeast Oklahoma, birds, snakes, possums, raccoons, squirrels and skunks are prime suspects.


The blink is caused when the animal comes in contact with the powerline. When this happens, a relay senses the fault and tells the breaker to open. This prevents the flow of power to the problem site. After opening, the breaker quickly closes. This brief delay allows the fault to clear and usually lasts less than 2 seconds.


While the blinks might be alarming, they actually indicate that your electric system is functioning safely and properly.


Animal -related interference is a major cause of power outages, particularly for utilities that operate in rural areas. Snakes, for example, are drawn to substations by the birds that like to build nests there. To prevent snakes from entering substations, electric utilities often erect snake-proof fencing around the substation. This type of fencing protects several substations that feed Choctaw Electric lines.


Do you have a question for your electric co-op? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your questions by mail or email to:


Jennifer Boling


Choctaw Electric Cooperative PO Box 758, Hwy 93 North Hugo,Oklahoma 74743


Email: jboling@choctawelectric.coop. Closed on Columbus Day


Choctaw Electric Cooperative will close on October 14 for Columbus Day. To report a power outage or service problem during this time, please call 800-780-6486. Regular office hours will resume on October 15.


Become a Safer Driver


Choctaw Electric is offering three AARP Driver Safety classes this fall. The eight hour course is led by an AARP-certified safe driving instructor and is designed to help drivers of all ages correct bad driving habits and increase their awareness while driving


The class will begin at 9 am on the following dates:


October 23, 2013 – Antlers CEC office November 20, 2013 – Hugo CEC office December 18, 2013 – Idabel CEC office


The cost for the course is $12 per person for AARP members, and $14 per person for others. Fees for the course are used to purchase teaching materials that participants may take home with them.


To enroll or for more details, please contact Brad Kendrick at 800-780- 6486, ext. 248.


New Hours for Haworth Broadband Center


Choctaw Electric’s Community Broadband Center in Haworth announced new operating hours.


The center is open Monday - Friday from 3 pm until 6 pm.


CEC Broadband Centers in Haworth and Smithville are open to the public. The centers are staffed by CEC technical assistants who are happy to assist visitors with using computers, searching the Internet and other tasks. Smithville hours are Monday - Saturday from 2 pm until 5 pm.


Dead Trees Cause Power Outages


The extreme heat of past summers followed by wet and windy conditions this summer is taking its toll on trees in the Choctaw Electric Cooperative (CEC) service territory. It’s also causing outage problems for the co-op as the dead trees topple into power lines along co-op right of way.


“The past two years we experienced very hot, dry conditions that left behind a lot of dead trees. This year, we had a lot of rain, high winds, and sudden pop-up storms that caused the trees to fall into our poles and power lines,” said Jim Malone, director of CEC engineering and operations.


Malone said the co-op has experienced scattered tree-related outages throughout the CEC service area. While co-op crews have worked diligently to restore power to the affected areas, the scattered and erratic storm patterns have made it difficult to restore power completely throughout the system. “As soon as we get one area repaired, we’ve got another problem at the other end of the system,” he said.


Restoring power in a safe and efficient manner is CEC’s number one goal.


For your safety, please remember to stay away from down power lines and fallen trees that are in contact with power lines.


If you experience an outage or spot a downed power line, please report it to CEC’s 24-hour outage hotline at 800-780-6486.


4 | october 2013


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