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article imageSooner State gets hit hard with season's first ice storm.

By Steve Bellah     Dec 13, 2007 in Environment
The first ice storm of the 2007-2008 season delivered a knock out punch to much of Oklahoma. As many as 650,000 homes (1,500,000 people) were left without power in the wake of the storm that covered much of the state with a half inch to an inch of ice.
The Oklahoma City metro area alone had over 250,000 homes that were left in the dark. Slowing the power restoration efforts are countless downed tree limbs that must first be cleared away. Area hotels are filled to capacity with families seeking a warm, well lighted place to stay; and generators have become harder to locate than a heterosexual male at a Barry Manilow concert.
As the rain began to freeze, Sunday night found school children anxiously watching the list of closings scroll across the television screen, hoping to see their school on the list. Eventually, most school districts did cancel classes. Monday morning dawned to reveal the devastation left by the storm. School closings, power outages and downed trees spread across the state.
Even the lucky people who still had electric power may not have escaped completely unscathed. One of the “really cool” things about having ice build up on the roof is that when the lower layer begins to melt, that water has no where to go, so it meanders around until it eventually finds an opening though which to enter the living space below leaving that lovely golden stain on the ceiling.
Those fortunate enough to escape power outages and leaky ceilings still had to contend with severe tree damage. This is often an exhausting and potentially hazardous task, with tree limbs strewn across power lines, roofs, etc. Home owners, both urban and rural, will be spending the next few days cutting, clearing, dragging and stacking all the debris from damaged trees.
The various electric utilities across Oklahoma have done a phenomenal job of restoring power as fast as possible to as many homes as possible. In just over 48 hours the number of homes without power has been reduced by a little more than half.
Oklahoma does not get a lot of snow each year but it does get hit with at least one good ice storm each year. This one however is the worst that many folks can remember. Sooners can take pride in the fact that there were no reports of looting and only isolated reports of suspected price gouging.
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