Will Rogers, a famous Oklahoma humorist, once quipped “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.” Of course this is a statement echoed around the world. I’ve heard the same phrase spoken in several states, and recently heard that it is voiced in other countries as well, as far as Iceland and Australia.
No matter who coined the phrase, the weather in Oklahoma during the April-June months is downright awful. This past week we saw a mesocyclone the size of the Death Star float across the middle of the state. It took out the town of Bridge Creek, leveled several other homes and businesses, and coined a term quickly raging on the internet: Tigernado. The reason was because it hit a Tiger sanctuary near Tuttle that loosed some lions, some tigers…and some bears. There is even a film being funded on GoFundMe inspired by all of this madness. No kidding. Go check it out.
Then there is the flooding.
The Tigernado storm dumped 8.5 inches of rain in a night, and since most towns and rural areas of Oklahoma are not equipped for such rain fall amounts, they quickly washed away or drowned. Like moths attracted to the proverbial flame, however, Oklahomans continue to drive through puddles as if they think their car is that James Bond car that became a submarine. Three foot deep cold water and an intake manifold do not mix, as many stranded Oklahomans quickly found out.
Last night another major storm passed through the region. It dumped another 8 inches of rain in most places and flooded and washed out many roads around the area. I live in one of these rural areas, and my road is deteriorating quickly. One of my friends cannot leave her home because the bridge on her driveway is crumbling away. We are due for a massive storm tonight that will dump even more rain and has the highest possibility for tornadoes this season.
The City of Moore has been hit yet again, and people always make the statement: “Why don’t those people just move?” or “If I lived in Moore, I’d be selling my house.” The thing is, we Oklahomans are tough. We take it on the chin and just keep going. We love living here. Most people in Oklahoma are friendly and eager to help out when these disasters come. There are never situations where there are not enough volunteers to help people in need.
So, even though Tornadogheddon2015 is on its way tonight, I’ll be doing what I always do on a Saturday: writing. Even if the power goes out, my laptop is fully charged. I also have a storm shelter in case things get hairy. I have a novel to finish, and the thing is nearly done. I can’t wait to tell the story of how my protagonist makes it out of the latest jam I’ve put him in, or more importantly how his female sidekick is going to get him out of it.
I’ll wait out the storms, pray for my friends and family and for people in the path of the tornado, and generally not worry about it. I’ve lived here my whole life. Why start worrying now?