Mr. C.F. David, Editor, The Boise City News
My wife and I were two of the stranded travelers that spent the night in the Cimarron County Courthouse, during the storm of 29 December 2006 . I express my deep appreciation to you personally for bringing us food and to all the good people of Boise City for their hospitality and good cheer during our unscheduled stay in your community. Billy and his wife who made us chili over the gas fireplace in his apartment above the theater; the sheriff and his staff, even the two inmates in the jail were all very helpful to all us stranded travelers. You all made what could have been an unpleasant experience into a hospitable stay in your town. We left Boise City with warm feelings on a cold day. Thank you again.
Dar and Eileen Moneyhon
San Antonio , TX
To the people of Cimarron County :
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry would like to thank the good residents of Cimarron County for all they did to help us during the “2007 Cimarron County Ranch Rescue”. With your assistance we were able to feed approximately 11,000 head of livestock.
To all the ranchers and farmers who helped us locate the livestock, and to the individuals who helped with the transport and delivery of the hay, we say a heartfelt “thank you”. Your efforts made our task so much easier to achieve. We know that you had your own chores and work to get done, but you were more concerned about your neighbor, and that concern was noted by the team.
We also greatly appreciated the volunteers at the Cimarron County Fair Building. From the moment we walked in the door, the local people worked to get us whatever we needed. The hot meals and homemade cookies helped keep us going, as did the pots of hot coffee.
One member of our team commented that he didn't know people like you existed - open, friendly and willing to help one another. May you be proud of the people in your county who represented your way of life and your community spirit.
Commissioner Terry Peach and Staff
To whom it may concern:
Where were you the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday during the blizzard? There was no electricity, very little water, visibility nearly zero, everyone trying to stay warm. Did you even wonder what was going on in the rest of the city and county? Did you volunteer to get out in the blowing snow to help someone? Did you know that there were 200 plus people stranded here, cold, hungry and no place to stay? Thank God for the highway department, Highway Patrol and the Sheriff's Officers trying to get these people to shelter. Thank you to the Church of Christ , Christian Church, Methodist and Baptist churches for opening their doors. The basement of the Courthouse was even full. Did you call to see if food was needed for these people? Did you do any welfare checks? I know several did. But do you really know what happened those first few days?
I know for a fact after a very long day Friday trying to get people to shelter, getting out four times during the night to go out on calls, then very early Saturday going into the office the Sheriff and a very cold dispatcher started trying to get help into Cimarron County . The governor was out of state, the Lt. Governor was gone, every office in the State Capitol was closed. A call to State Senator Owen Laughlin got help. A state of emergency has to be declared before help can be sent. The aide of the Lt. Governor was contacted and help was on it's way. Duane Johnson came to the Sheriff's office to ask how the Highway Patrol could help. These two men got help coming to Boise City . Surrounding counties volunteered to send in large equipment to clear roads.
The senior center was opened Sunday and between our highway patrol officers, two inmates and Delane Schwindt the parking lot was cleared and ready when the first Red Cross vehicle from Enid came in about 11:30 A.M. then another Red Cross trailer with warm food was there and bed and blankets. Food was served to about 235 and many take outs delivered. Phone calls were made for about two hours doing welfare checks, seeing if people were warm, needed food or needed to be taken to the shelter. Gail Hunt came in worried about the fact no ambulance could be gotten out if needed. The Ambulance building drive, Fire Department and ER Entrance should have taken “TOP priority” for being cleaned but hadn't been done. The Sheriff got David Odell who was running a front-in loader to clear the Ambulance and Fire Stations. Jay Carson cleared the ER. During this time, a call came in that a pregnant girl needed to get to the hospital. The sheriff in his personal four-wheel drive cleared the way so Deputy Derek Kincannon, in his private four-wheel drive pick-up, could get the girl to the hospital.
About 4:30 Sunday evening, here came Emergency Management's large Generators, The Command Center was moved to the Fair building. One of the generators hooked-up and heat and electricity was once again in the building. One Ambulance was brought down to be plugged in and cots were set up for those needing a place to stay. Evening meal was served to about 175.
Under Sheriff Larry Taylor and his family made it over and took cots, blankets, water, bread, fruit and warm food back to Keyes to help out the people there. Two generators, cots, and food were taken to Felt. That set a trend. Hot food, prepared by the Baptist Men in Guymon, was delivered to Keyes, then Boise City each day at noon along with Bread, Crackers, pudding, milk, fruit, paper items, and much more.
Large snow plows from Beaver and Texas County came in and started trying to get roads open to Felt, Wheeless and Kenton. The National guard from Enid came in with Hummers to do welfare checks, and get food and medicine to those people stranded out in the country. The man who made the statement about all the National Guard did was run up and down the roads with coffee was badly mistaken. These boys and one girl walked into some of the remote places with water, food and to the Gibsons with medicine. I saw them go out very early in the morning and drag in very late at night. Some who had walked into people had to rest some before they could eat. We prepared take out meals to be taken to them and the helicopter crews and they ate out in the field.
During the first few days, Highway Patrol brought medicine and oxygen in from Guymon. One person had to have medicine so bad an airplane dropped it to them and one lady out around Kenton needed to get to the hospital. With the help of the large snow plow and Sheriff's Department, she was gotten out and put in the ambulance and taken to Clayton to the Hospital.
Senator Laughlin and Rep. Gus Blackwell flew over Cimarron County on Tuesday, assessed the situation and spent the next two days here helping out. Thank them the next time you see them.
Anyone could come to the fair building or at the time it was called “The Command Center.” If you had come and observed, you would have realized the work that went into helping out this county. The Emergency Management team was here to help; sometimes all they got from people were complaints. The Agriculture Department was the same. These people spent 12-14 hours a day just to help YOU.
Another group that helped out so much was the Sheriff's Dispatchers. These ladies worked with no heat or electricity, only candles and one telephone. The Sheriff had asked the commissioners when he first took office about a large Generator so his office could take care of communications properly in case of bad weather. They felt it was not necessary. Dale Harper, on Sunday afternoon thought of a generator the city had and that an extension cord could be run up to the Sheriff's office. Delane brought a heat type light up and soon there was some heat, light and two phone lines in the office. After that it required two dispatchers to answer all the phone calls. Would you have reported to work, knowing how cold it was in the courthouse? Do you know how dark that building is with no lights? Thank these ladies next time you see them. They were there, getting help sent to you.
I was there from Sunday till the next Sunday, from early morning till well after dark, I saw your Sheriff and his men go and go till they looked like they would drop and it makes me furious when I hear people complain that things weren't done fast enough or good enough. One said we didn't need all those people here. We could have done it ourselves. Sir, I don't think so. If you think you could do it better, you be here from the beginning next time, trying to figure out how to help that many people in the shortest length of time.
I am very proud of everyone who helped during a very bad time in our county. I want to personally thank the ladies who came day after day to get food to all these people, 15 to the airport, 14 to the Lake, 8 to Northern Kenton area road crew and 25 + at the fair Building. Alta, Makenzie, Judy, Shelly, Tikki and our gofer – Delane. Thank you. Thank you District 2 boys for your continuous work.
This Community and county should be proud of the volunteers we have here.
My name is Kacy Perkins and I am a fifth grader at Napa Valley Language Academy in Napa , Calif.
I am writing because I am doing research for a paper on the state of Oklahoma , and I am asking any of your readers to please send me information about your state.
I would really appreciate it if I can get some history, maps, postcards, pictures, brochures, or souvenirs.
My research report is due in early March so I would appreciate the information by late February.
Napa Valley Language Academy
40 Maestra Llamas-Cruz
2700 Kilburn Ave.
Napa , Calif. 94558