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Commentary Oklahoma: From drought to drenched T


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


here’s an old ad- age about coping with the weather in Oklahoma: “If


you don’t like it now, just wait an hour or two and it will change.” Over the last 60 days, no truer words could have been spoken. Beginning in early May,


Mother Nature rewarded nearly the entire state with much-needed, drought-busting rain. Areas of the southwest, north, northwest and Panhandle that had experienced a five-year-long severe drought have received abundant moisture over the last two months. However, some parts of the state got more rain than was needed, culminating in May 2015 being the wettest month on record for the state of Oklahoma. Accompanying the heavy downpours were sev- eral tornadoes that destroyed homes and busi- nesses in central, southern, southeastern and northeastern Oklahoma. Record rainfall caused extensive fl ooding, which took its toll on families


and business owners throughout the state. Your local electric cooperative delivery sys- tems have not been immune to some of these damages caused by weather. More than $3 mil- lion dollars in storm-related damage have been assessed by electric co-ops and recorded with offi cials from Oklahoma Emergency Management and FEMA. At least 54 counties have been de- clared or requested for Public Assistance so far. Your local co-op line crews, contractors, and


Mutual Aid crews from other electric co-ops worked diligently to restore service to storm-and fl ood-ravaged areas of the state. Flooding has been more pronounced in some areas, causing co-op linemen to still encounter impassable roads and hazardous working conditions into the month of June. Rain or shine, co-op crews are dedicated to providing the best service possible to you, the member-owner. Weather will always be a challenge to these ded-


icated line workers, but rest assured their response will be to restore electric service as quickly—and safely—as possible.


Enjoying the great outdoors T


Kendall Beck President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


hose around me know I en- joy God’s great outdoors. In the


spring, you will find me crappie or bass fi shing on area lakes and creeks. In the summer, you will fi nd me scalping some ground


at the area golf courses. While I simply enjoy spending time in nature, fi shing is my pastime. An avid outdoorsman, I make it a priority to regularly remind others and myself that safety is imperative in any outdoor activity. Life jackets, fi rst aid kits and sunscreen are a must on the water. With the threat of various tick and mos- quito diseases, a good insect repellant is also a must.


Shortcuts on safety will eventually get you. On a fishing trip a few years ago, I was catching smallmouth bass on top water lures that have


sharp treble hooks. After missing a good fi sh, I caught a small one. Naturally I was in a hurry to get my bait back into the water so I took a short- cut of releasing the fi sh by not gripping it cor- rectly. This allowed the fi sh to fl op and I lost my grip; sure enough, as the fi sh slipped, it pulled the hook deep into my fi nger. After several use- less attempts to get the hook out, I fi nally had to go to the emergency room to get it removed. Lesson learned. This edition of Oklahoma Living features some great options for enjoying the outdoors in our state, such as kayaking (Page 10) and volunteer- ing at outdoor events like the Oklahoma Special Olympics Summer Games or the Oklahoma Tough Mudder Challenge (Page 5). Before you begin any outdoor activity, be aware of your sur- roundings. Stay clear from all electric power lines if you’re working in their vicinity. Remember: don’t take a shortcut by working around them. Stay with the safe route.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Chris Meyers, General Manager Kendall Beck, President


Gary McCune, Vice-President Scott Copeland, Secretary Larry Hicks, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Daniel Yates, Advertising Manager dyates@ok-living.coop


Kirbi Mills, Offi ce Manager kmills@oaec.coop


Hillary Barrow, Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. hbarrow@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Taryn Sanderson, Editorial Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$6.00 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 10=64-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Circulation this issue: 320,580


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest


Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


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