Gee-golly, the wind really does come sweeping down the plains in Oklahoma. As we talked about a few days ago, when winter finally arrived in Southwest Oklahoma at New Years, it blew in with gale force.

If you spend enough time driving around in neighborhoods, one of my personal hobbies to bust up that routine drive home from work, there are so many houses that are now missing shingles across Lawton.

A badly damaged roof with missing shingles in need of repair

As the roofing season gets a head start on Spring this year, the conversation around the table at lunch became curious if insurance rates are about to grow again?

Slate asbestos roof damaged by a fallen down tree.
Vitaliy Halenov

I feel bad for some in my own neighborhood. Last week, one house on my block just had a new roof put on. I felt anxiety for them with the thought "It hasn't been hot enough to melt all those shingles together..." as the wind whipped up, but the house made it through the wind with flying colors.

There's a really sweet old lady that lives a block over that has had five whole roofs or big patch jobs put on her house in the last five years. After two insanely windy cold fronts have pushed the arctic into SWOK this month, she's due for another. Of course, it could be more of a lesson in handyman-vs-professional craftsmanship, but we often do what we can on the budget we have.


As much as I dreaded the thought of a second roof-destroying cold front coming to town, there was a small part of me that thought "Hey, I might finally get rid of my ugly roof."

My roof is orange. Literally, it's an orange roof. As much as I adore my Oklahoma State Cowboys and bleed orange and black for the team, my orange roof is incredibly ugly.

I honestly feel like the previous homeowners got their insurance check and just bought whatever the cheapest shingles were at the home store to save some of that cash. Nobody in their right mind would opt, willingly, for my annoyingly orange roof.

Unfortunately, whoever put that ugly roof on my house did an exceptional job. There have been at least a dozen wind storms in excess of 70MPH since I've lived there and she's held tight the entire time. Given the cost and deductibles, I'm not replacing it until it has to be.


As you drive up and down the main roads on your way to and from, pay attention to the clutter in the road. There are quite a few places that shingles have randomly gathered on Cache Road. Same for Lee and Gore Boulevard.

Then again, there's no telling how long they've been there. I know Lawton has a dude that sweeps the streets, but there have been some sticky tiles in the Eastbound lane of Cache Road in front of Starbucks for some seven years now. Ironically, they'll probably outlast the new paint in that intersection too.

Speaking of intersections, why are the painters putting down new lane-striping stopping with just the intersections? There's at least a mile of Cache Road where the only discernable lane dividers are the tar-gaps between lane slabs, and what little paint is left completely disappears when roads are wet... Is there not enough money for street painting in the CIP?

We and most of Southwest and Western Oklahoma remain in a total burn ban. High winds and dry conditions don't make for good times. I still think we're due a solid one-day snow storm, but I wouldn't hedge bets on it... not in this inflated economy.

If your home has survived January so far, congrats. I hope that trend continues for you. If not, I'll light a candle for you as soon as the wind quits.

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