"We've never had a catastrophic blade failure like that," said Jeff McIntyre, regional wind site manager of NextEra Energy, which is the company that runs the wind farm near the intersection of Breckinridge Road and North 126th.
The blade broke off the turbine sometime Wednesday night, but the cause still is under investigation, McIntyre said. The investigation could take several weeks or months to resolve.
"(We will) need to go through and assess the rest of the blades and make sure there's not any exposure to the rest of the site, or any of the property around the site," McIntyre said.
The average wind speed for Wednesday, May 31, 2017, was 12.27, lowering to 8.73 mph on Thursday, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet weather recording station at Breckinridge. The Mesonet site reported maximum gusts at 33.11 and 33.24 Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The broken blade sits about 100 yards behind the wind turbine, crushing all of the corn that surrounds it. The cornfield belongs to Ken Carpenter, who declined to comment.
Cleaning up the blade and wind turbine could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two months, and will involve bringing a large crane near the field to take the blade off, McIntyre said.
The turbine is one of around 171 on the site, which has rarely seen any sort of mechanical issue, let alone a blade being destroyed, McIntyre said. Damages to the blade and field still are being assessed.
He said company workers are checking the rest of the site and monitoring the wind turbines 24 hours a day to ensure a similar incident doesn't happen again.