Frigid ice storm hits Oklahoma City, knocks out power for 300,000: ‘It looks like an apocalypse’

Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Even Vanilla Ice would say this was “too cold.”

A rare October ice storm froze Oklahoma City and nearby areas this week, leaving more than 380,000 homes and businesses without power across the Midwestern state and 12 people injured, local Fox affiliate KOKH reported.

About 4 million people live in Oklahoma, meaning nearly 10% of the state’s population was without power Monday.

Trees across Oklahoma were impacted, falling on power lines and slumping onto roads. Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency for 47 of the state’s 77 counties, according to the Associated Press.

This storm was particularly hard on trees because ice was able to accumulate on leaves, adding more weight than an average mid-winter ice storm. Electric company spokesman Brian Alford told the Oklahoman it was OG&E’s “worst nightmare.”

Trees that didn’t collapse weren’t in the clear. At least one tree with a power line running through it literally crackled with electricity.

At the Oklahoma City National Memorial, crews worked to save the Survivor Tree, an American elm that remained standing through the 1995 federal building bombing across the street and is dedicated to the victims.

But other trees were left out in the cold, falling onto a road near the memorial.

“Robinson Avenue looks like an apocalypse,” memorial director Kari Watkins told the Oklahoman. “I don’t see a lot of trees on the streets that look salvageable.”

Temperatures in the state rose above freezing Wednesday afternoon, allowing some of the ice to melt and preventing rain from freezing and causing further destruction.


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