Winter weather has been in full force in Southwest Oklahoma as Mother Nature blanketed Altus with ice on Thanksgiving and through the weekend.
According to Altus Emergency Management Director Lloyd Colston, “Altus experienced sporadic power outages, and the majority of the outages were due to ice-covered tree limbs falling on electrical lines.
“Many were dead trees from the drought,” said Colston, “and that is an important reason for citizens to keep trees trimmed, and cut properly. Proper cutting helps prevent power line outages and falling electrical lines.”
Colston also reported that there were no medical injuries in Altus due to the weather. He also said, “I have to brag on Altus Power and the excellent job on their work performance, because there was no equipment damage.”
Colston also said that citizens need to check with their insurance companies because most will pay for tree removal due to storm damage. An important reminder is to use a reputable contractor and a local tree service. All tree service contractors must remove the trees off your property, and dispose of properly. The contractor is not to place trees or limbs in your dumpster.
The Oklahoma State Attorney General has aggressively reminded everyone to be smart and be cautious of scams. Governor Mary Fallin has issued a State of Emergency and declared all 77 counties in Oklahoma disaster areas.
“Oklahoma has experienced winter weather storms, including devastating ice storms, and blizzards. Southwest Oklahoma especially has a history with disastrous weather. In 2007 a winter storm, 2009 a blizzard, and 2010 the ice storm,” said Colston.
“All citizens need to have a plan, be aware of the weather, have an emergency supplies kit, pay attention to watches, warnings, and advisories, and obtain a battery operated radio,” said Colston. He added, “It is very important to stock up and be prepared, and also use generators safely.”
During times of extreme weather conditions, Colston said that people should take care of themselves first, then check on your neighbors.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221