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Neighbors lend a hand while staying warm

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Paul Hiel lost power but still is helping neighbors clear trees. Paul Hiel lost power but still is helping neighbors clear trees.
Members of the Southern Baptist Relief Team prepare food for metro-area shelters. Members of the Southern Baptist Relief Team prepare food for metro-area shelters.
More than 500,000 Oklahomans were without power after an ice storm slammed the state. More than 500,000 Oklahomans were without power after an ice storm slammed the state.

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

For every tree that has fallen in Oklahoma, there's a neighbor helping to pick it up--and trying to stay warm in the process.

Paul Hiel lost his power during the recent ice storms. Losing power in his house hasn't stopped Hiel from helping his neighbor clean up his yard, though.

"Sunday at seven is when it went out," said Heil. "Haven't seen anything since, but I'm staying warm right now. You don't have to worry about staying warm when we're going this."

And Hiel isn't alone. Dean Kiser took vacation days from work to help with the Southern Baptist Relief Team. The relief team are preparing meals for shelters across town and staying warm by the ovens while they cook.

"The people out there get the food, and the hot meals. We get a blessing right here," said Kiser. "This time I'll probably take four or five. I have used as many as almost 30 a year doing this type of work."

And while these people are seeking shelter elsewhere, power company crews are out in the elements, working to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands, around the clock.

"It's like so awesome man, it's like God blessed me right now," said Melven East, who was getting help from his neighbors.

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