Winter Blast 2011

5 Feb

We got hit pretty hard down here. And because Oklahoma can’t figure out whether its in the midwest or the southwest, the state is never prepared for when the winter storms hit. The whole city is shut down. But since I work at a 24 hour emergency shelter, we never close. Through some weird circumstances, most of the employees on payroll are trapped in their homes and can’t make it to work. I had a feeling I’d be relied upon pretty heavily, so I gathered up some provisions, extra clothing and hiked the 1.2 km to work during the initial blizzard on Tuesday (I unscrewed the handle from my broom and used it as a walking stick to guage the depth in questionable areas). That was around 3pm and I’m still here as of 5:22 AM February 4th.
I’ve been camping out here ever since. There were two other counselors here who were stuck and couldn’t leave the shelter until yesterday afternoon. But I’ve chosen to stay. Part of this is due to not wanting to go home until I absolutely have to (its still pretty nasty out–kinda like Empire Strikes Back) and also because we are still short handed. Some counselors have found it easier to get to work but its still pretty treacherous. Some have walked, others chose to drive.
We’ve managed to make it fun for the kids though. Games of football, XBox and of course television has kept us occupied. When the kids go to sleep I get to work on projects and the counselors all sleep in shifts. The best thing about it all is that I’m making hazard pay which is like time and a half, and my overtime pay kicked in this evening. And our local rivers desperately needed the precipitation and snow–they’d been severely dry lately.
So the sleepover continues for another couple of days. I’m very fortunate to be safe and we still have electricity.


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