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10 things we learned from Siberian Snowpocalypse 2021

3:59 AM EST on February 19, 2021

As temperatures are predicted to rise to a scorching 35 degrees tomorrow, Oklahomans are eager for a return to more “precedented” weather. The last week has been a cold, cruel struggle for many and it’s shown us the strengths and weaknesses of our state. In fact, here are 10 things we learned during the Siberian Snowpocalypse 2021!

1. There Are Two Types of Pickup Owners

There are only two types of pickup truck owners: assholes who continue to break the speed limit during winter weather because they’re “in a truck” and Bubbas who drive 15 miles per hour with their thumb on the hazard light button, ready to pull a Camry out of a ditch in a moment’s notice. In world full of assholes, be a Bubba, ya’ll.

2. It's time for TV weathermen to stop sharing long range weather forecasts

Back in November sweeps, not too long after our city was hit by the devastating ice storm, David Payne looked into the broken crystal ball he bought at Goodwill and shared this 2020/2021 weather preview. Unless you live in Exact Opposite Land, he couldn't have been more wrong.

Just compare that graphic above with the one he was running yesterday:

As we've documented, Oklahoma weatherman can barely forecast winter weather a day in advance, much less months. It won't happen, but in a perfect world, they should show a shred of journalistic integrity and leave long term weather forecasts to psychics, magical crystals and almanacs.

3. Faucets can freeze even if you let them drip

It's a good time to be a plumber in Oklahoma. Outside of robin reports, social media was flooded this week with people complaining about their pipes freezing up during this storm. As we thaw over the next week, expect social media to be flooded with people complaining about plumbing prices.

4. OG&E Can’t Communicate

A Western Oklahoma church ladies’ telephone tree can alert an entire 400+ member congregation of a Friday fish fry in less than 30 minutes, yet OG&E can’t figure out a way to alert our elderly neighbors about rolling blackouts so they can charge their oxygen machines. But don’t worry. The company still had the ability to tweet Valentine’s Day wishes and send out alerts for bills this week.

5. Despite All The Hype, Our State Was Not Prepared For The Cold Weather

Sure, the state reached freezing cold levels not seen since the 1800s, but whole ass water treatment facility pipes froze. People were left in the dark about rolling blackouts. Our esteemed governor even left the friggin state. If it weren’t for the OKC Homeless Alliance and Budz Lounge cannabis lounge’s makeshift warming station in Wagoner, I am afraid many more Oklahomans would have perished in the storms.

6. Jim Inhofe Was Right

A big ass snow storm in Oklahoma definitely means that global warming is a hoax and polar vortices aren’t splitting, sending arctic air to environments that it doesn’t belong. Jim Inhofe tried to tell us, but we didn’t listen. Damn our hubris.

7. Dan Threlkeld was right, too.

Oklahoma City received a combined 10 inches of snow between the two storms that hit our state, but is was a far cry from the multiple feet some for-profit TV news outlets were predicting. Once again, we know it doesn't produce ratings and social media shares, but instead of producing colorful graphics with extreme snow totals five days in advance, perhaps our TV news meteorologists can just be honest and say "Hey, it looks like we're going to get some bad winter weather next week. We don't really know how much snow there will be until the storm is in top of us, so it would be irresponsible to share anything specific at this moment. Regardless, the storm will be significant and affect travel like most winter storms. Please stay aware. Now run to the grocery store and buy milk."

8. Farmers Will Save Us All

From bringing calves indoors to keep them warm to spending hours breaking up ice in the water troughs, it’s safe to say that one Oklahoma farmer has more grit, selflessness, and ingenuity to get their populace through the harsh weather than all of our state’s esteemed elected leaders combined.

9. Energy Crises Are Relative

When the Southwest Power Pool and OG&E announced that energy levels were stressed, state leaders called for Oklahomans to do their best to conserve energy by running less laundry, turning off lights, and giving kids a real goddam snow day instead of holding virtual school, I guess. But much like morality and science in this state, energy crises are apparently relative. So next time we hit energy emergency alert level three in this state, remind grandma to turn down her heater so the Thunder game isn’t affected by rolling blackouts.

10. We Need to Give Our Leaders More Authority

It’s too bad our elected leaders don’t have more say when it comes to leading the state through a weather crisis. I’m sure Stitt only left for his New Mexico ski trip after he had exhausted his ability to declare states of emergency and called every neighboring state leader and federal contact for resources. Also, Mayor Holt really did want to cancel the Thunder game Tuesday night, but it just wasn’t in his power to do so, I'm sure.

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Give all your money to the Homeless Alliance. Then follow Hayley on Twitter @squirrellygeek and become a contributing member of TLO here.

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