I learned about 5:30 p.m. Monday that the electricity was off at the home of my 79-year-old mother in Tulsa. She cannot see well enough to drive after dark, the roads were too slick for her to get out of her home to go elsewhere, and officials were predicting the power could be off for a week or more. So my wife and I decided to take the chance on the threat of icy roads and drive to Tulsa to “rescue” Mom and bring her back to Oklahoma City, where our home still had power.We saw a half-dozen salt trucks keeping the Turner Turnpike drivable during our trip. But the darkness and fog along the 90-mile stretch was eerie. All of the turnpike’s rest areas were dark, with only the parking lights of semi-trucks marking their locations. News accounts had indicated about 70 percent of Tulsa was without electrical service, and the temperature was holding near freezing. Entering the outskirts of Tulsa, pockets of light accented the darkened city. But most striking to me was that upon arriving at the edge of the city, heavy in the air was the smell of burning wood – it was as if all the residential fireplaces in Tulsa must have been in use at the same time.
- Don P. Brown, Features Copy Editor