That huge ice storm is devastating America’s heartland, having killed 23 people, mostly in traffic accidents. But it has hit Oklahoma especially hard. Everything has been encased with nearly an inch of ice, which is more weight than trees and power lines can bear. The president has declared the state a disaster area.
I heard that two-thirds of the state is without power, and it may be an entire week before it is restored. My parents have been without electricity since Sunday. My sister, amazingly, had hers come on again on Monday, so they have moved in with her. She tells me that my home town of Vinita looks like a tornado has hit: The big hundred-year-old trees are down and in many cases have fallen on cars and houses. Utility poles have broken, with power lines lying in the streets.
My sister said that power company workers are here from all over the country working to put up the power infrastructure again. Clanton’s Cafe has opened so as to feed them. A gas station and some grocery stores are running generators and have managed to open. Everyone in town, as one would expect in small town America, is pulling together.
I’m thankful my family is OK, but many are in a bad way. The cleanup will be a massive job. I’ll be going there over Christmas break.
I realize that it may be futile to ask for reports, since people without electricity can hardly get online, but if you were affected and can post, please tell us how you are doing. The ice did not just hit Oklahoma but also nearly the whole midwest. It’s not a hurricane, but it is a devastating natural disaster all the same. The rest of us might pray for the folks going through this.
UPDATE: Here is a good overview of what has happened to Oklahoma, with a perfect quotation from a member of a clean-up crew: “This is a category 5 hurricane in Oklahoma.”