10 Years Later: How Oklahomans Coped With The Ice Storm Of 2007
TULSA, Oklahoma - Today is the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the 2007 Oklahoma ice storm.
On the night of Saturday, December 8, 2007, freezing rain started falling across much of Oklahoma. It kept falling until the following Monday, coating just about everything in a thick coat of ice, especially trees and power lines.
The result was devastation. Hundreds of thousands of people were left in the cold and dark in the largest power outage in state history. Some people didn't get their power back on for weeks.
Ten years later News On 6 asked our readers to share their photos and stories with us. Many people say what they remember most about the storm, aside from the misery, was the sound. They remember the noises the trees made as their limbs or trunks snapped, as well as the silence that began when the routine activities of everyday life coming to a halt.
We've also heard unforgettable stories about how people coped.
Cheryl Ritzman of Claremore lived in Winganon at the time and said:
"My husband was with the Oklahoma National Guard training in El Paso before being deployed to Iraq in January 2008. It was just our son and me at home during this time. We were without electricity and our rural water also went out at the same time. Luckily, my aunt who lived next door had a hand pump water well. That is where we got our water. We were lucky enough to get a generator a couple days later and we only ran it during the day. It ran the refrigerator, freezer, charged my cell phone, the furnace and one light. So, every evening we would start lighting the candles, we had no heat because I had started the wood stove which caused a chimney fire. I wasn't too concerned about the chimney fire because the roof was covered in ice... so after putting the fire out in the wood stove I never lit another fire again all winter. Thank goodness we had a gas stove/oven where we could at least warm up canned soup which we lived on while all this was going on. It also heated up our bath water. We closed off half of the house and drug the mattress into the living room to stay while all this was going on. My husband got a 10-day leave before their overseas deployment. He spent the whole time cleaning up the mess and cutting up the wood. The ice was beautiful but it will be a long time before I forget the December 2007 ice storm in Oklahoma."
Shanna White, who now lives in Claremore, says she was 16 at the time and lived in Broken Arrow, wrote:
"We were out of power for quite awhile (I can't remember how many days). But I do remember when I had walked out to the curb where my car was parked I had one heck of a time trying to get back up to the house because the driveway and the yard may as well have been an ice rink and it was all slightly sloped. Also I worked at Sonic as a car hop at the time and once I could finally make it into work, we were one of the only places that miraculously had power and the line of people waiting to order food had at least a one hour wait. We were so busy!"
Deborah McCullar wrote:
"We were without power for 10 days. My husband who works as a lineman for a power company came and picked me up (because our vehicles were covered in ice an inch thick), and took me to a hotel and dropped me off. I got the last room they had. He went back to work and I woke up the next morning with no electricity in the hotel room. He came and picked me up and brought me back home, got his pickup de-iced and I drove 48 miles to my Mom's and saw one vehicle on the icy roads, a semi. All the gas stations were out of gas and nobody was traveling. It was an adventure to say the least."
Patti Henson wrote:
"I listened to the weather and prepared by getting propane heaters and making sure our motor home was fully stocked and we had plenty of wood and candles and lanterns for the house. Everyone laughed at me but we were warm and toasty for the 9 days that we didn’t have power. Now when I say let’s get prepared they say 'OK'."
We want to hear your stories from the storm. Send your photos of the 2007 Ice Storm to firstname.lastname@example.org and share them on our Facebook page. Be sure to tell us your story when you do.