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Oklahoma utility assesses tornado damage

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co is assessing the damage to its power grid following yesterday’s tornado which ripped through suburbs of Oklahoma City in the US.

OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said: “We have a mix of outages and are beginning the assessment process to determine the full extent of the damage to our transmission and distribution system.”

He said around 38 000 OG&E customers were without power yesterday in the wake of the 200-mph tornado, which has left 24 people confirmed dead, including nine children.

In 1999 a tornado caused more than $15m of damage to OG&E power lines, substations and transformers.

OGE Energy Corp, the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric, is has pledged $500 000 to storm relief efforts.

The company’s OGE Energy Foundation will work with local non-profit agencies to determine the areas of greatest need.

OGE Energy Corp chairman Pete Delaney said: “On behalf of our 3500 employees, I want to offer our deepest condolences to families who have been affected by the storm. We are deeply saddened by the enormous loss of life.”

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company serves more than 800 000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.