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Flood Cleanup Begins

The floodwaters are down in Okmulgee, and the cleanup has begun. Several residents are wringing out water-logged homes, but The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports compared to other flooded areas, city managers says Okmulgee dodged a bullet.

Sis Hummel is not having a garage sale. Her living room is on her lawn because up until a few hours ago her living room floor was under two to three feet of water. Her son says when he arrived he couldn't believe what he saw.

"It was about three feet of water still in the house, and we were wading around in here trying to survey the damage,” said Sis Hummel’s son Fred Harlan. “After the water got out there was mud, so it's a mess."

Sunday afternoon Okmulgee was drenched by eight to ten inches of rain. Water was everywhere, spilling over curbs, backing up traffic and stranding drivers. Fred Harlan says his mother had to be rescued by a local district attorney.

"Came by the house and saw the water was coming up and he went in and checked on her and got her out,” said Harlan. “She couldn't get the doors open so we have a big thank you to the DA for getting momma outta the house."

Now, most of the water is gone, as restoration crews try to suck up the little that's left.

It wasn't just Sis Hummel's house that got flooded, but also her car. The inside is completely water logged, and there’s a debris line up several feet on the outside of her car.

"It’s been a long time since it got to that,” said Okmulgee City Manager Bob Baxter. “There's some old timers around here saying they haven't seen anything like that in the last 50-60 years."

City leaders say about 10 to 20 homes were flooded, but most aren't as bad off as Sis Hummel. The major challenge is infrastructure, flood waters seemed to peel the pavement right off of this road at 15th and Delaware. But all in all, the damage is not that widespread.

"I feel pretty lucky given that amount of rainfall," Baxter said.

Over at the Hummel house they're wringing out, but also counting their blessings.

"The mementos we're trying to save, but she's got us, we've got her that's something to be thankful for, it could have been a lot worse," said Harlan.

Watch the video: Oklahoma Drying Out Following Flooding

For more flood related information and flooding safety tips, click here.

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8/19/2007 Flood Waters Force Residents From Their Homes
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