For the hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans still without power from this week's ice storm, the governor has one message: Be patient.
Speaking before a gaggle of reporters and photographers outside the Oklahoma Gazette offices, Gov. Brad Henry gave his thoughts and prayers for those affected by the winter ice storm and urged everyone to hold on.
"Help is the on the way," Henry said. "I have to stress, it's going to take some time. Some people will be without power for a number of additional days."
STATE OF EMERGENCY
The storm, which took effect of the state Sunday night, left more than half a million Oklahomans without electricity. With temperatures dipping below the freezing level for the past few days, many residents are taking extreme measures to stay warm.
Henry declared a state of emergency and has asked President George W. Bush for federal assistance, which may come in the form of rescue crews and financial aid.
After talking to the press, Henry, along with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and emergency officials, toured the Crown Heights neighborhood for a close look at some of the residential damage.
Pete Delany, chief executive officer of Oklahoma Gas & Electric, said more than 1,600 crew members are scattered about trying to restore power to all areas. He said power has been restored to more than 100,000 customers, including most of the primary customers like hospitals and water treatment plants.
The governor said some pre-positioning is taking place to brace the state for another round of winter storms expected this weekend.
"I know it's tough "¦ but please be patient," Henry said. -Scott Cooper