Interesting day yesterday

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    okie B

    So yesterday was a very interesting day.

    Driving home from work, about a fifteen mile drive, I was thinking about this board and prepping in general. I ended up taking the back roads because I had to run some errands, and as I was driving through the “country” parts of the city, I was thinking about how in a desperate situation, people from the inner city would likely migrate out to there, whereas people from the outskirts of the city would likely move further out. I was driving up the road that leads to my neighborhood and realized that the sky was red…at 3:00 in the afternoon. Not typical.

    Oklahoma is the land of red dirt (or clay), and dust storms are certainly not unheard of around here (Dust Bowl, anyone?), but this looked funky. Sorry, but I can’t think of any better word to describe it. It was swirly and smokey looking and just downright creepy looking. And it made me nervous, so I got home as quickly as I could and turned on the news to try and find out what was going on. Nothing. Went online to see if anything was posted. Nothing. Called around. Nothing. So I tried to just shrug it off and go about my day.

    I went to go brush my teeth and found that there was no water. Most of the Oklahoma City metro area is on city water, and we had none. So back I went to try and find out what this meant. Still nothing. I broke out some of my stored water and went about my business again.

    Finally, almost an hour later, there was a breaking news alert on the television. The red sky was caused by a fire in a grain elevator near downtown Oklahoma City. Most of you seem to be fairly knowledgeable about storage issues, so I’m sure you realize how combustible grain dust can be. This was about a 10-story grain elevator. As crews rushed to get the fire under control and prevent an explosion (Oklahoma City is still a little sensitive about the idea of explosions downtown — collective therapy, anyone?), they realized they had no water pressure and had to rush to bring in more hoses and water. About the same time as this fire, a 72-inch water main that provides water to most of south Oklahoma City and the surrounding metro area had burst. Ergo, no water. Oklahoma City has a population of just over 500,000, and the metro area is close to 1 million people. About half of us had no water for about four hours.

    Water was diverted to a 48-inch pipe and service was resumed, albeit with next to no water pressure. They are reporting that we will possibly have water pressure issues for the next several weeks until the larger pipeline can be repaired. We also had an ammonia leak at one of the older buildings downtown during this whole situation. I was reminded of when the OKC bombing occurred many years ago in that there were several events that occurred, and the general public did not know what was going on until after the fact. All we knew was that it was bad. It just kind of drives home the point that you should be prepared and expect the unexpected.

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