Okemah Family Wades Through Flooded Home To Salvage History
OKEMAH, Oklahoma - All of Oklahoma is under a state of emergency, and Tuesday President Barack Obama signed a federal disaster declaration for three counties - Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties.
But, with all the damage this weekend, Governor Mary Fallin said she'll ask for help in other counties as well.
A federal declaration means grants will be available for repairs as well as low-cost loans to cover any uninsured damage.
The loans would help an Okemah family whose mobile home is under water.
Lake Okemah is higher than it's ever been, and for the first time water is going over the spillway and flooding roads and property.
The lake is technically still open, but all public boat ramps and campgrounds there are closed.
It's nearly been four days and there's still about two feet of water standing in Ronnie and Kitty Titsworth's home; a boat is the only way the couple can get to their home.
“I could never dream it could get up that high,” Ronnie said. “This is unbelievable.”
As the couple and their family wade through water, salvaging whatever they can from the 40 years of life together, it's hard for them to put everything into words.
“This is where we live, this is our home,” said Kitty.
“Just way too many years,” Ronnie said. “This trailer house, it don't look that big, but all history of the Titsworth family is in it, so it's a pretty big loss, pretty big loss.”
It's a loss that happened in just half an hour as the lakefront home they love so much became part of Lake Okemah.
“When the water's down, ya know, it's a slice of heaven,” Kitty said. “We were in here, maybe 30 minutes and went to walk out the front door and the step just floated off, it was already chest high in 30 minutes.”
As they left they didn't have time to grab much, which is why they were back, hoping to find some of their most precious possessions.
“All we got out with was our medicine and the cat,” Kitty said. “Iraqi scrapbooks that I made, ya know, my husband and three sons were in Iraq and I've got those scrapbooks out there and picture books.”
Ronnie said he's made it through worse and said he will make it through this, too.
“It's just gonna be a long, long process,” he said. “We're all safe, so that's all, that's all that counts.”
The couple said they're staying with family until they can move back here to the lake.