I knew already that it freezes in Oklahoma, and I have been around the world and back several times in my life, but the weather today in Oklahoma is downright strange. It is only fall here, not winter. We have checked into a hotel because we have no electricity because of the ice, and the girl at the front desk of the hotel says she has never seen anything like what is happening right now in Oklahoma City either.
When I woke up this morning, we had electricity. However, as I began to go about my day, I kept hearing strange noises, but I didn’t know what they were. I ascertained that the noises weren’t coming from inside the house. They were like swishing sounds. When I looked out the front door, I could see that it was really cold out there. The cars were completely encased in ice, the grass was covered with ice, and there were icicles hanging from the trees. The weather had been so warm up until yesterday that you could almost go around without even a sweater, but it rained Sunday evening. After that, yesterday, there was rain, snow, and ice all in the same day. It had gotten cold really fast! As I looked into my yard, I noticed that there were small tree limbs laying on the lawn. I figured the wind must have blown really hard for those limbs to be down, and strong wind is not unusual in Oklahoma. However, at the moment, the wind wasn’t blowing.
I got my breakfast and turned the TV on. My daughter was home from work because the day before her boss had suggested that she may want to work from home today because the roads would be icy. I sat and ate my oatmeal and tried to find something good to watch on TV. My daughter was in her room with her computer working. About the time I finished my oatmeal, the electricity just clicked off! The alarm for the front door beeped a couple of times and went off. The TV was off, and most importantly, the heater was off. Every few minutes, it was like there was a flicker of hope because the front door alarm would beep and the heater would begin, but they clicked on, then off, and then there was nothing. I thought, “Wow! We don’t have electricity. We won’t have heat, and I can’t blog.” I went to turn the gas oven on to use as a heater, but it must have had an electrical component or perhaps the gas is out too because even the gas oven didn’t work.
My daughter had come into the living room by this point. We were discussing what we needed to do. Should we just wait? I told her we needed to call someone, and since she works at OG&E, she called her boss to let him know that she had no internet, so she couldn’t work, but he didn’t answer. She left him a text message. I told her that we needed to call someone to get the electricity back on, and she had the number, but she got a list of choices, and she didn’t know which button to press because we didn’t know anything about the cause for the outage. I was wishing we had a neighbor’s phone number to call them to see if they had electricity. I suggested we call the manager’s office of our neighborhood, but all she got was a list of options and a tape recording. No one was answering their phone anywhere.
Just then, there was a huge “BOOM!” right outside the window I was sitting close to. We ran to the front door and looked out. It wasn’t just a small tree limb this time, but a big thick branch had fallen off one of the trees in our yard, and I could see that it could have come right through the window, and we were lucky it didn’t. The tree branch had completely frozen through, and that was the noises I was hearing in the morning. Everything was freezing, and the tree branches were falling off because they were frozen. I had never seen anything like it! I said I needed to get dress and go talk to one of the neighbors, but my daughter said she would go.
She put on her coat and ran outside. There were tree branches down in everyone’s yards and more falling. There was a man outside screaming curse words because of the situation. A woman drove by in a truck, and my daughter flagged her down. She rolled her window down, and the woman told her that the people in the neighborhood had already called OG&E and they were fixing the downed power lines, but it was going to be a while before they got them fixed. She came back in the house and told me what happened.
I told her that we needed to have an alternative source of heat because heat seemed to be the immediate problem, but we didn’t have one. She said she was planning on buying a house, and when she did, she was going to make sure it had a fire place. We weren’t even equipped with candles. The house was beginning to get cold, and I went to my bedroom and got the blanket off my bed and put it over me. I told my daughter that I had seen on Facebook where someone was without electricity for several days last year during an ice storm in Oklahoma, so we really needed to figure out what we were going to do. I knew we could go and buy a kerosene stove, but unfortunately, I am allergic to kerosene. When we used it before, it made my face swell up and get really red. I wasn’t ready for that. I suggested that we check into the hotel where she used to work, but she didn’t jump on the idea right away. I think she figured we were out of options, so she finally called the hotel and made a reservation.
We got dressed and packed our bags to leave for the hotel. We could hear tree branches still falling off the trees outside. We left our water dripping so the water wouldn’t freeze in the pipes and burst when it thawed out. My daughter cleared the fridge out and put the food in the trunk of the car to keep it cold. The cold had come so suddenly that I was worried about the antifreeze in the car because every fall, I take my car to the mechanic so they can make sure it is ready for winter, but I hadn’t done it this year yet. We figured the white car was probably okay because we had antifreeze put in it last year, but the blue car probably wasn’t because we hadn’t had it long enough to know where there was antifreeze in it or not, so we would take the white car. I suggested to my daughter that we should turn the car on and let it warm up before we drove it, and she went out and turned the engine on.
We packed the car with our suitcases, but my daughter’s phone rang, and it was OG&E. They needed her to check something on her computer, so she went back into the house. I scrapped all the ice off the car windows, and then I got into the car. I wanted to drive because I am experienced in driving in ice and snow, but I knew my daughter wouldn’t go for it. She is a new driver, and I didn’t want to hit a patch of ice and her not know how to handle it. I turned the heater on in the car and sat and waited for her to come. When she came, I suggested that I drive, and I got a complete and utter negative response. She told me I didn’t trust her driving. I asked her if she she knew to do when there was ice on the road, and she said, “Yes, just go slow.” That was the wrong answer, but she just wanted to shut me up. I couldn’t get the right answer out of her, so I ended up telling her what to do in case she encountered ice on the road, and it just made her mad. However, our situation stopped her from being too mad, and I shut up hoping not to get any more anger from her. She had to concentrate on driving because there were obstacles everywhere.
As we drove out of our neighborhood, there were downed trees everywhere. There were big tree branches all over the road. When I lived in Oklahoma before, we lived in the woods, and even when it froze, the tree branches never came down like these tree branches were coming down. It was amazing! We drove on to the hotel. My daughter said her boss was happy that she was checking into a hotel because she couldn’t work without electricity, and she happens to be one of the necessary people today because the people from OG&E keep calling her for information so they can do their jobs and get everyone’s electricity back on. She says she is not the most important person today, but she is a kind of support for the people at OG&E. Her phone kept ringing as we drove down the road toward the hotel.
When we got to the hotel, the sidewalk around the hotel was covered with ice, so I walked in the road. When we checked into the hotel, the television was on in the lobby. It was talking about Red Cross and triple A, a car rescue place, rescuing people because of the ice. There were school closings posted at the bottom of the TV. The girl at the front desk said she was amazed because she had never seen anything like this. Well, I have been around the world and back several times, and I have never seen ice to what it is doing today in Oklahoma. The girl at the front desk said the hotel was booked up because of the ice, and we were lucky that we called when we did because there wouldn’t have been a room otherwise. She also said she wasn’t going to go home when her shift was over because she was afraid of the ice, so she was going to stay in the hotel too.