UPDATE: Efforts Underway To Protect USS Batfish In Muskogee Flooding
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - Flooding in the Arkansas River has affected the U.S.S. Batfish at Muskogee War Memorial. The submarine is once again in water after historic flooding in Muskogee.
The view from Osage Drone 6 makes it almost look like the the sub is back at sea.
The World War II submarine is in the Muskogee War Memorial Park just off the Arkansas River. They have closed for safety, and volunteers are on call to begin moving artifacts from the memorial to a safe place at the Muskogee Civic Center.
According to Kimbra Scott with the Port of Muskogee, the Batfish has moved a bit but is not off its mounts. Staff have been working hard to monitor the situation.
Scott Meador, who is part of the living history crew, took photos inside the submarine Thursday, May 23. He said they went aboard to stop a leak, check damage and shut valves.
The USS Batfish was brought to Muskogee in 1972. She was attached to six barges to help her sit higher in the water, and was brought up the Mississippi and then the Arkansas. The operation to bring her to Oklahoma faced several challenges, including a dry dock strike, flooding and making it underneath bridges along the way.
Once she arrived in Muskogee, she was moored at the port where she was opened to the public on July 4th. At one point, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission wanted to give up and return her to the Navy, but the Navy refused.
Finally, in April of 1973, a crew dug a trench from the river to the park and she was floated into her final resting place. To get her into position, the crew attached her to four bulldozers via cables, as well as a tugboat.
She was officially opened, sitting on the ground in the park, on Memorial Day weekend of 1973.
The Batfish Facebook page posted the following notice: