Mike Cowing learned that it would have paid to prepare for this month’s winter storm. But who expects arctic temperatures in Oklahoma in February?

Cowing was one of many people in Southwest Oklahoma who’s water pipes froze during the region’s recent dip into arctic temperatures. His pipes froze and shattered on the third day of the storm. Water was restored to Cowing last Tuesday, after being without for five days.

“I guess my cold lines were ancient, that’s what busted,” he said. “My hot lines are PEX so they just froze and thawed out. I’m definitely changing cold lines this spring.”

Knowing people is a good thing. Cowing said his friend is a plumber. He came and fixed things to save his friend “hundreds.” That and taking it as a matter of life made it bearable, he said.

“It was rough, but cold beer got me through it,” he said.

It was last Friday when Lonnie Billings Jr.’s pipes burst. He said they were frozen for days before that. It’ll probably be next Tuesday before repairs are made, according to his plumber.

Billings said he was fortunate his parents live across the street. He carries buckets of water from their place to his to use the bathroom. Water has to be boiled before doing dishes.

“I can shower and do laundry over there,” he said. “But it’s still a hassle having to do all this extra work after I get off,” he said.

Rural areas took the hit as well. Dani Carson rents a home from her parents outside of Apache. She said they’re “pretty dead set on fixing things themselves.”

But taking care of herself and an assortment of dogs, cats, horses and more made getting through the hindrance an imperative.

“While my water was out, I had to get water for all of my animals from other people’s houses as well as shower and bathe at other homes,” she said. “Of course, that also meant that none of my laundry got done and I was limited on what I could cook.”

Carson said there was resourcefulness found. Gratitude for what she has when all is good was found in the worst situation, she said.

“One good thing that came from everything, though, was the excuse to spend more time with family and friends,” she said.

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