A Year After The Devastating Ice Storm, Farmers Still Trying To Recover

Wednesday, September 22nd 2021, 6:42 pm
By: Anjelicia Bruton


It has been almost a year since the devastating ice storm hit Oklahoma.

Acres of trees toppled over, dead limbs and ice covered the Martinbird Tree Farm following the ice storm.

“They snapped, they broke, we still have not been able to clean up all of the damage from our landscape trees,” Bob Martin with Martinbird Tree Farm said.

Martin said his Christmas trees were pretty resilient. They were able to have a successful Christmas season, but many of their landscaping trees died in the ice storm or weren't standing after the snowstorm a couple of months later.

“It's the most trees we've ever lost. We were out about 7-8,000 trees that we lost as a result of both of those storms,” Martin said. “We haven't taken a big financial hit, but we have taken a hit.” 

Martin wasn't the only one spending months cleaning up from the ice storm.

OG&E sent the following statement to News 9:

The October 2020 ice storm was an unprecedented weather event that resulted in 40% more damage to service lines in customer backyards than a typical Oklahoma ice storm. Much like when OG&E crews recently traveled to Louisiana to assist with Hurricane Ida recovery, last October’s storm damage was significant enough for the company to call on utility crews from 18 states and Canada for assistance in restoring power to our customers faster. 

OG&E continues to work proactively to develop and implement measures to mitigate weather-related service interruptions. Our investment to harden the grid makes our entire system more resilient.

Since the ice storm in October 2020, OG&E has: 

·Trimmed or removed approximately 121,152 trees 

·Replaced 8,949 poles 

·Replaced 3,891 transformers 

·Changed out 517 miles of overhead and underground wire 

Our goal is always to provide reliable power to all customers every day without interruption, and to restore any interruptions as quickly and safely as possible.

OKC crews were also there to pick up debris.

“A lot of other landscape plants that we realized didn't make it through that ice storm in the spring, so we continued to have to pick up additional landscape debris through the spring and summer this year too,” Malarie Gotcher with the City of OKC said.

The city said because of the extra trips added to pick up debris they were behind in picking up bulky waste. As of last month, they said bulky waste pickups are back on schedule.