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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Oklahoma Ice Storm

We knew it was coming, the weathermen had warned us all week. But, how do you prepare? There's really nothing you can do to prepare for the worst ice storm in Oklahoma history.

The sound of the freezing rain was alarming Saturday night. It continued through the day on Sunday, covering the roads, trees, rooftops, grass, anything and everything, creating the most beautiful ice sculptures.

Surely school will be cancelled we thought, as we watched the 10 o'clock news. Every school but ours had reported its decision to close. Was this a competition? Did the superintendent think he would win some kind of award for holding out and forcing the kids to attend classes in the ice?

I could only assume that the weatherman's kids attended the same school, when he warned any school administrators, who were thinking about holding out until morning, to give it up because Mother nature was going to win this one. Not two minutes later, the words "Edmond Public Schools-Closed Monday" rolled across the screen.

Woo hoo! The kids knew their bedtime had just been postponed.

As we continued to watch the news, with stories of all the unfortunate people who had already lost power, my daughter boasted, "we never lose power, never have." "Jordyn, don't say that!" I exclaimed. "Why mom?" she asked. "Just never say never." I answered.

I knew for sure that one of us should have kept our mouth shut when less than five minutes later we were sitting in the dark. "Awesome," I thought, I can finally get some use out of all those candles I just had to buy at the Hobby Lobby half-price sales.

Yep, it was fun for a while... no lights, no heat, no television, no video games, nothing, just a bunch of candles. I was able to achieve a moment of satisfaction watching the kids pretend to be Abe Lincoln while they played Wahoo by candlelight at the dining room table. Three children, one in high school, one in middle school and one in the first grade, who have nothing in common but their last name.

It couldn't last long. And it didn't.

I awoke the next morning to my 12-year-old son's assessment that "mother nature must have really been angry." He had walked out front to see that we had lost a large part of our favorite tree, a bountiful holly tree that had produced an abundance of red berries, more than ever before. My car was frozen shut.

Several neighbors had huge trees that had fallen onto their homes. As I surveyed the damage, I noticed that everything looked so fragile, delicate, beautiful. It was a sight to see.

The website's editor, living in Vermont, told me: "Ice storms are beautiful, but deadly."

In this ice storm alone, fifteen people lost their lives in car accidents. A news reporter barely escaped a falling tree as she reported live on a local news channel. Others are still in danger of hypothermia, as they wait for their power to be restored.

A telling tale was the picture a local news channel aired of a tall metal flagpole that was nearly bent in half from the weight of the ice. The flag was grazing the ice covered ground. Amazing.

All that is left now is the melting ice falling from the roof tops and trees. It falls from the trees in bunches and I notice, as it hits the ground, that the sound is very much like a short-lived applause.

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