Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oklahoma Ice Storms

On Monday, December 10, a state of emergency was declared for the whole of Oklahoma following the weekend ice storms. Once again, as in January of this year, the air was rent with snapping tree limbs, the sounds echoing round like sniper fire.

My garden looks like a wasteland, it's truly a heart-breaking sight. A tiny flowering dogwood, the prettiest tree in my yard, with its beautiful white blooms in spring, and its blaze of red leaves in the fall, was split in half. A red bud tree has fallen down. And many other trees have lost limbs, oaks, maples, and two peach trees. Only the willow managed to bend his back and survive the chaos and destruction around him.

I’ve lost trees, others have lost much more. Fifteen Oklahomans have lost their lives, and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.

We all live at the mercy of the elements, and sometimes Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. And Oklahoma seems to have suffered much at her hands this year: ice and snow storms in the winter, flooding and tornadoes in the spring, sweltering heat and humidity in the summer, and now back to ice and snow.

Along with over half a million other homes in Oklahoma, we lost power. Throughout two bitterly cold nights and one whole day we had no electricity. Although the power did return briefly last night, by the time Mick and I had finished cheering, it was off again. This morning, around 9am, the lights came on, and are still on as I type this. Others are not so lucky, and can expect to be without power for a week or more, and with snow and below freezing temperatures forecast for this weekend, the outlook is pretty grim, and does not bode well for the festive season.

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