TULSA — With Tulsa buried by its snowiest winter on record and few snowplows in sight, an army of residents has stepped in where the city failed, putting plows on their pickups to clear streets, checking on senior citizens and even lining up behind stalled cars to push them up highway ramps.
The city has been hit by three winter blasts in less than a week, and many streets are still choked with snow.
Last week, the first blast dumped 14 inches on Tulsa and more than 20 inches on other cities in northeastern Oklahoma.
When the snow and wind finally stopped, pastor Shannon Watterson and three friends loaded up his truck with shovels and groceries and headed out.
For three days, they helped anyone they could find. They took folks who were caught flat-footed by the storm to Walmart to stock up on essentials. They shoveled cars and trucks out of ditches.
But don't call Watterson a hero. "We were just having a good time," he said.
It was the Golden Rule that tugged on plant manager Brian Maher last week, when he bought a small tractor and had to drive it through several neighborhoods to reach his house across town.
On his four-hour trek back, he helped plow the parking lot of the local Habitat for Humanity. Then he saw an older man shoveling his driveway who told him that his next-door neighbor had just suffered a stroke and could use some help. So Maher cleared that driveway, too.
Maher shrugged off his generosity, saying he always tries to consider the needs of people around him.
"Everyone finds themselves where they need help sometimes," he said. "What goes around comes around."
Dozens of Oklahomans called the Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa this past week, looking for ways they could help. Many with four-wheel-drive vehicles were connected with organizations that delivered meals and groceries to senior citizens.