Heat Hinders Storm Clean Up

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It was a steamy day for a majority of the people who live in Arkoma as they cleaned up debris without the luxury of cooling off in electricity.

Severe weather that pushed through our area Thursday damaged the OG&E power grid leaving hundreds of people without power all day.

"People think storms are a joke and really they're not," said Arkoma resident Chrissy Reese.

It was a day to clean up debris for many who live in Arkoma.  An oak tree snapped and fell on Reese’s house.

"I heard this big ole' boom and I knew it was hailing outside,” said Reese. “I didn't know if it was a tornado or what, so I grabbed my daughter and run in the bathroom."

She says she'll have to replace the roof, but feels lucky the damage isn't worse.

"There's a bunch of leaks inside,” said Reese. “We have no power, no cable, nothing like that."

Trees uprooted, snapped, and tangled in power lines leaving hundreds sweltering in the summer heat while cleaning up debris.

"We've been out of power for about 20 hours now," said Larry Harlow.

Crews worked to restore electricity.  According to LeFlore County Emergency Management, the storms caused considerable damage to OG&E's grid system, and it's taking a full day's work to bring back power.

Since a majority of the town was without electricity, the First Baptist Church opened its doors as a cooling station for relief.

"I came in this morning when I first got the call, about 8:15, and turned on the air conditioners," said church member Lisa Wilburn.

Those like Reese, who are working in the heat, say they’re thankful they’ll have a cool place to go.

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