The latest round of weather in Oklahoma has crippled the state's central, east and southeast sections.

The last estimate I read said that more than 1,000 power poles were taken down by ice in the Jan. 12 storm.

To his credit, Governor Henry declared all of Oklahoma a disaster area, and President Bush has responded...to the Jan. 12 storm. However, it is my fear, and I feel that of many others, that Cimarron County, indeed perhaps the whole Panhandle, will fall through the cracks and miss out on any federal help since the president's declaration is for the Jan. 12 storm.

We have ranchers, farmers and citizens that were and are being affected by the late December and early January storms. We too need help, and we must not, cannot, let our state and national leaders overlook our problems.

The Panhandle has been ravaged by a drought, and to add insult, to injury, our cattlemen have been hit hard by heavy snows and bitter cold. We need and deserve help.

The word for the week is hinterland.