Recent flooding has affected at least 1,000 homes in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA — Flooding has affected hundreds of homes in rain-weary Oklahoma, an official said, and more severe weather is possible Friday and Saturday in the Sooner State.
Officials believe floods have had an impact on at least 1,000 homes in some way, especially in northeastern Oklahoma around the swollen Arkansas River, state Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said.
Flood watches and warnings were in effect Friday for large portions of northern Oklahoma. By the afternoon, Gov. Kevin Stitt had amended an earlier executive order to declare a state of emergency in all 77 counties across the state due to the severe weather.
Some parts of the state have seen more than 10 inches of rain in the past several days, and up to 2 inches more could fall Friday in northern and western portions of Oklahoma, the National Weather Service said.
On Friday morning, Webbers Falls, a town of 600 people near the Arkansas River about 75 miles southeast of Tulsa, remained under a mandatory evacuation order that began Wednesday night.
The river, already well above major flood stage just upstream, was expected to crest there early Saturday. Fortunately, no rain was forecast there Friday.
Flooding was widespread Thursday in Sand Springs, a city situated along the Arkansas River west of Tulsa.
The water had flooded Tammy Cantrell’s driveway in Sand Springs’ Meadow Valley neighborhood. She told CNN affiliate KTUL that she left the home Tuesday in anticipation of the rising water, and she was hoping Thursday that her home stays above water.
“It makes me really sad — not just for myself, but our neighborhood and all the other communities that are flooding,” she told KTUL.
In Tulsa, Christina Morin was one of 50 people staying Thursday at a Red Cross shelter in a church. She’d been evacuated from her home because of rising water, KTUL reported.
She said she was able to grab only a few things, including some photos of relatives. She worried about what she’d find when she returned.
“My whole life is in there, everything I have,” Morin told the TV station.
Seventy-four people in the state were taken to hospitals to be treated for injuries in recent days as the region copes with flooding and tornadoes, the Oklahoma Department of Health said.
One person drowned Tuesday after driving around a barricade in Perkins, about 65 miles west of Tulsa, the city’s emergency management office said.