Okmulgee County Families Clean Up After Flooding Damages Several Homes
OKMULGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Heavy rain flooded homes, closed roads and caused big problems in Okmulgee County, where County Commissioners issued a disaster declaration.
In Henryetta, 31 homes were damaged, but it's even worse in Dewar, where heavy rain caused Coal Creek to overflow its banks.
"It's devastation," said Melissa Floyd.
She and her family got a phone call from Dewar city hall, warning them to seek safety, shortly before water overflowing from Coal Creek reached their house.
Even though their house is off the ground, water still got inside. Now, everything is soaked, it's dirty and smells bad, and the Floyds don't know what they'll do next.
"I've got my kids, I've got my husband--that's all that matters," Floyd said.
A few blocks away, the carpet's been ripped up at Tom Delso's house. Fans are blowing. All the stuff now sitting on his lawn is ruined.
"We're going to haul this stuff off or get it hauled off and figure out what we're going to do next," Delso said.
The floodwater was two feet deep inside Delso's house. Part of figuring out what he's going to do next includes where he's going to live.
"I'm not going to stay in the house, for sure. Too much worry every time it rains," he said.
Altogether, 56 houses in Dewar have damage after seven inches of rain fell in a 12-hour period overnight Friday.
Since the ground was so saturated, the water had nowhere else to go.
"Too much, too quick. It rose really fast," Floyd said.
Emergency management workers are also reminding people that wildlife was disturbed by the high water. They want people to watch for snakes while cleaning up after the flooding.
Two debris removal sites are set up for flood victims in Okmulgee County. One is at Nichols Park in Henryetta on Lake Road, which is for tree limbs and brush only. Household debris can be taken to Industrial Park at Highway 75 and Tutt. Those sites will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.