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Flood Waters Devastate Kinta Homes, Businesses

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The only convenience store in town. Photo by J.D. Stauffer. The only convenience store in town. Photo by J.D. Stauffer.
Highway 31 has water over the road in some places. Highway 31 has water over the road in some places.
KINTA, Oklahoma -

Right now, people in the small town of Kinta are dealing with devastation after raging water pushed its way through the town.

Emergency crews rescued nearly 30 people overnight, and a look inside the Green Acres Cafe really puts the power of the floodwater in perspective. 

A barstool and counter are flipped on their sides and the owners said they've been in place since 1950, never moved until now. 

"Last night was devastating," said Kinta resident Dana Bailes.

As Bailes and her family looked inside their restaurant, they cling to memories made through the decades.

"We were always under the tables and running and then we waitressed and our kids grew up," Bailes said. 

The restaurant, a staple in the small town, is a total loss.

Just across the street, Victor and Lilly Croy's normally tidy home is turned upside down. 

"Last night, looks like it got up to three and a half foot or so," Croy said. "Well, this deep freezer was over here."

Haskell and Pittsburg county emergency management said the floodwaters damaged about 40 homes and businesses throughout the town, including the only convenience store. 

A video from a game warden shows just how high the water got while he and volunteer firefighters from nearby towns worked against the elements to save nearly 30 people. 

"In about a 15-20 minute time period, water went from about six inches to about 60 inches. At one point we had an estimate of 8 foot of water standing right in the middle of town," said Haskell County Sheriff Tim Turner. 

Now that all the water is gone, folks will work together to clean up and start moving forward. 

"God is good though," Bailes said. "We'll get through it. He's got us through everything, so he'll get us through this"

This is the reality for many families. In one bedroom you can see the dresser, the bed - everything is ruined. 

If you'd like to donate anything at all, you're asked to take it to the First Baptist Church on Highway 2.

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