By Jim Redwine

Those of us who live near Barnsdall, Oklahoma attended, not voluntarily, Mother Nature’s opening performance of a “small” tornado on April 01, 2024. There was some damage such as felled trees and a slight power outage. But, in general, it was heavy rain and strong winds.

Peg and I escaped most of the storm’s effects except the clean-up of downed trees and rearranged lawn furniture. Although we did hear the proverbial freight train pass just above our cabin. It took us about two days to get back to normal. It took the Public Service of Oklahoma about one day to restore power.

I guess our narrow escape upset the weather gods because just about one month later, May 6, 2024 at about 10:00 pm Barnsdall was attacked again, this time with a vengeance. Once again, Peg and I, who live in the country near the town, dodged the brunt of Nature’s fury. Regrettably, many others were not as fortunate. A great deal of damage was incurred by a great many people.

This time PSO was on the job about the same time the tornado moved on past us. One of the hard-working and polite PSO workers told Peg and me there were about 150 PSO workers who responded to the Barnsdall storm. As PSO has large power lines and a utility easement across our land, we were able to observe a lot of hard and dangerous work by a lot of PSO workers. They started each day at 7:00 am and, at our place, worked until about 7:00 pm. It was an impressive performance. I was pleased to be a mere beneficiary.

Peg and I were pretty well confined to our home for two days but when we were able to get out to get supplies, we saw an army of professional and volunteer responders who provided food, shelter, counseling and hope to many Barnsdall residents. Food and beverage trucks and trailers that operated for free to countless victims were spread throughout the town.

The different police agencies, Barnsdall Police, Osage County Sheriff’s Department and Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers were ubiquitous and helpful. EMS workers were readily available at all times. And countless good Samaritans were offering food, water and shelter. The best of people came through in this second act of Mother Nature’s fury.

So, we say thank you to all. And I imagine, our thoughts are echoed by many; please Mother Nature make this your Finalé! We don’t need for you to pass this way again, unless it is with gentle spring rains.

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