Following days of extreme weather in Oklahoma, the continuous rain fall and high waters rising is forcing small towns to issue evacuations in cities near rivers. On Wednesday, the River Spirit Casino shuttered its doors early due to flood concerns, and many homes around Logan County have already seen collapse from the high waters risings. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said during a news conference that “the biggest concern is more rain.”
Officials encouraged residents in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs; in Fort Gibson, which is about 50 miles southwest of Tulsa, and in Webbers Falls, some 70 miles southeast of Tulsa to leave. All three communities are along the Arkansas River. Tulsa Mayor G.W. Bynum assured the city that they were currently safe on Wednesday morning. Bynum said, “The levee system is working the way it’s supposed to right now.”
But the risk and warnings for people’s safety remain as Oklahoma State Climatologist Gary McManus said, “Any rainfall we get just continues to saturate the soils that are already saturated. Especially rivers and streams, there is simply nowhere for this water to go.”
Oklahoma News 4 captured video of homes affected by the rising waters in Twin Lakes, a private community near the Cimarron River. It appears the banks are starting to erode which is putting the townspeople’s homes in peril.
Surrounding roads and highways in 22 Oklahoma counties have been shut down as the National Weather Service is expecting record water highs for the Muskogee River, which is 45 miles southeast of Tulsa. The expected heavy rains, which are expected to continue through Wednesday night and into Thursday, have also caused officials to put out warnings and encourage evacuations in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. Thus far, the have been at least three reported storm-related deaths.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma News 4 captured video of bystanders helping a woman who was nearly brushed away in the flooding waters near near N.W. 178th and Council Road in Oklahoma City. She was clinging to a tree before three good samaritans were able to pull her up and safely rescue her from the rushing waters.