This is Not A Drill

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In my last post, an ice storm was in the weather forecast. We get these every year but this one hit with a wallop. In fact, it’s being called the worst ice storm ever to hit Oklahoma. It started around 2 a.m. Sunday at our place, with the hissing sounds of ice pellets falling, and shortly afterward the power went out, and stayed out. The morning light showed a transformed world of glassine beauty and menace.

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Every grass blade, tree, shrub, bird feeder and even some bird’s tail feathers were coated with a thick varnish of ice that weighted it down. In the case of the trees, this spelled disaster. The sound of breaking limbs could be mistaken for rifle shots. All around us the deadly beautiful ice was taking down live wood. We were lucky, our beautiful grand Post oaks held up well, but in the city of Norman, the devastation is awesome.

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Something over half a million Oklahomans are currently without power right now, not good news, especially when it might be eight to ten days before it comes back on again. We realized, after a day or so without heat, phone service, water (our well pump is electric) or indoor plumbing, and running low on firewood, lamp oil, and most importantly, chocolate, the adventure was wearing thin. As the house grew colder and colder we dressed up in our coats and hats and gloves and mufflers, not to go outside, but simply to stay warm indoors while reading by the fire.

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Making Cowboy coffee on a VERY cold morning

This morning we packed up the pets and some bedding and clothes, and moved into Mike’s campus office, which has heat, light and even internet. There’s a refrigerator in here that’s normally used by the Ant Lab to store thousands of ant specimens in small vials. The specimens are now sharing space with cheese, lunch meat and fruit. We’ll be eating most of our meals at the student union since the local restaurants are dark and closed. We are VERY lucky to have a warm place to go to today. We’ll be here for the foreseeable future as more stormy weather is coming- snow and ice and deep freeze. And the power may be out for many days to come.

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Aftermath of the ice storm, on the OU campus in Norman, Oklahoma

I haven’t been totally idle, however. Although I wanted to post the next installment of my Goatsucker ID plate adventures, that will have to wait as it’s on a different computer than my handy, portable Powerbook. I’m also keeping a sketch journal of The Great Oklahoma Ice Storm of ’07 and Mike has a scanner around here somewhere. Stay tuned.

9 thoughts on “This is Not A Drill

  1. Becky says:

    Ditto on the devastation in OKC — it looks eerily like a tornado. We finally have a bit of power this evening — how we do appreciate it. Don’t know how long it will stay on, so we’re absorbing every bit of it.

  2. Janet Wilkins says:

    That storm is coming my way (Massachusetts) but, luckily for us, it is supposed to be all rain. However, another storm is forecast for Thursday evening and Sunday evening and I need to take my mother to her appointments for radiation therapy!

    By the way, I have a well pump too and I know what it’s like to be without plumbing. Yuck! We usually fill the bathtub with water when storms are predicted so, at the least, we can flush the toilet. What a subject! 🙂

  3. Pica says:

    We’re on a well too and don’t have a bathtub but we rarely have weather that could cause power to go down for that long. but we could get earthquakes, and all kinds of other disasters….

    Sorry to hear about all this and hope you stay warm — and safe.

  4. Tim says:

    I thought you might have photos of the ice storm here. Oh, I dread arriving tonight back to OKC. I was out of the country and missed the storm but saw my street in Edgemere Park (OKC) on the front page of the newspaper in Paris yesterday — so I have steeled myself. And we are still without power.

    I just moved back to OKC in August and encountered your show at the JRB that first week. I fell in love with everything!!! I finally close next week on the house I left in New Mexico to move to OKC and I want to celebrate the occasion by treating myself to one of your paintings. Where can I see what remains from the JRB show? Best Wishes, Tim

  5. Jeanette Jobson says:

    I live in Newfoundland and we see our fair share of freezing rain and power outages each year, but they’re usually shortlived and not as severe as this. While beautiful in some ways, the disruption to current lifestyles is enormous.

  6. bob french says:

    Deb – glad you’ve made it to a dry and warm location. Hope you get power back soon. Your pal in what’s left of Norman, Bob F.

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