A bit of perspective on our ice storm

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A commenter on a Tulsa World editorial says that any comparison of Tulsa's disaster-recovery to the problems in post-Katrina New Orleans completely misses the point:


Somebody needs to do an intervention for the media types here in this city. First I got to listen to Joe Kelley rave about how well Tulsa did with its disaster compared to New Orleans residents. Now I get to read this tripe about tree pruning survivors. To hear these media types wail you would think that Tulsa survived the apocalypse instead of a moderate tree pruning. I personally blame the weathermen who about ten years ago began interrupting my TV programming to let me know 'it's sprinkling in Bixby" for this media tendency to make things seem worse than they actually are. So for you folks in the media who read about and write about the weather here are some signs that the city you are reporting about has not suffered a disaster.

Your city is not suffering a disaster if:

1. The strip clubs are all open for regular business hours.

2. You can go to Wal-Mart and buy the supplies you need instead of having to break into Wal-Mart and steal the supplies you need.

3. You don't have to swim to work.

4. The biggest portion of your insurance claim is that refrigerated goods spoilage check they sent you.

5. You spent the week crapping in your own bathroom and not in a porta-potty provided by the red cross.

6. You slept in your own bed and not in a cot at a shelter.

7. Your job is still here.

8. You could eat out at a restaurant every single day of the so called disaster.

9. You still had a car to get around in.

10. You could find an ATM machine that would process your request for funds.

11. You could still make and receive calls on your cell phones.

If you couldn't do any of the above then congratulations you are a victim. For thee rest of you well, you are just a bunch of whiners who need to get a little reality check.

(I fixed the commenter's typos for the sake of readability.)

Good points. It could have been much, much worse than it was.

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heh.. that's funny, perhaps they should also have added an item to the "you know you're a victim if.." list:

* if you get a free $2000 debit card to blow, you know you've been in a disaster

singleton Author Profile Page said:

The ice storm certainly was not as bad as Katrina, but I was without power for 5 days, and many were without power for ten or 15 days. I know they said they had teams in all parts of town, but it certainly seemed strange to me that for the first few days only people I knew in south Tulsa were getting their power restored.

Nick said:

Don - and many other Tulsans - please. QUIT WHINING.

I've had my fill of the childish and vapid "they-had-their-power-restored-before-we-did" tripe. Are we all 5 year-olds?

The truth of the matter (and this IS the truth) is that it was a huge task to get everyone back on line and they did the best they could. How many times have you ever looked at a project that was so huge, so daunting, that you really didn't know where to start. Maybe you had to stop a minute and formulate a plan. Their plan consisted of getting as many people back on in as little time as possible.

South Tulsa has a newer electrical grid than Tulsa Proper. Therefore it's easier to repair.

How some people love to be victims.

singleton Author Profile Page said:

Nick, a lot of the newer communities have power lines underground, so they do not even need to be repaired. Theyalso spent a lot of effort getting power restored to the airport, even though it was closed. They also put priority on commercial areas. I don't object to priority for hospitals. I just hope nursing homes also got priority. And there are some commercial buildings, like grocery stores and Home Depot type stores that people need urgent access to. But if it comes to getting power restored to an entire neighborhood full of people freezing in their homes, many of whom may be like me and be home bound with health problems, or getting power restored to shoe stores and jewelry stores, I believe the residential areas should take priority.

And my residential area was built up a lot more recently than some of the rich neighborhoods of South Tulsa, that got their power back sooner.

The job may have looked so huge, so daunting, that they really didn't know where to start, but they decided to start first where the people with money lived. I am just glad they moved to East Tulsa next. I hate to think what the residential areas in North and West Tulsa had to put up with.

Nick said:


You seem like a reasonable man and cordial man. For that, I’m grateful. One thing that I have a particular disdain for is these internet discussions that get so out of hand calling someone a “right winger” or “left winger” or other, more unprintable monikers.

Don – you say that the newer communities have power underground and didn’t need to be repaired. Then why were they just dark as the older sections of Tulsa mid-town. Don, I drove the 71st Street corridor the night after the ice storm and it was pitch black. Almost eerily so.

If you want to find fault with the power companies and their contractors for not getting your neighborhood up and running as soon as you would have liked, I’m sure you can look hard enough and you’ll find it. I live in far east Broken Arrow I was out of juice for 4 days. And was grateful that it was just that. (By the way, my house was built circa 1980 and my lines are buried.)

We simply don’t know why some houses are dark on one side of the street and lit up on the other side. I’m sure there’s a lot of Tulsa that the power company would like to re-do. But they are stuck with the cards they are dealt. I really don’t think class or economic status came into the decision as to when your power got restored.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 30, 2007 9:05 PM.

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