Endangered Muskogee County Residents Urged To Evacuate 'Catastrophic Flooding'
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - Flooding in the Muskogee area has been absolutely devastating this week. Many residents have had to leave their homes, and officials have had to close roads.
State, county and city officials addressed the public Friday afternoon and urged them to evacuated if they are in the flood plain. Wagoner County has posted maps on Facebook showing the endangered areas.
Governor Kevin Stitt said in a news conference Friday afternoon that, from what he’s seen, Muskogee got the worst of the flooding all over the state. Rep. Markwayne Mullin agreed.
"Guys, this is catastrophic. Catastrophic flooding," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin. "If you're getting a warning to leave - leave."
"We really want to shift our focus to Muskogee and see what we can do there to help temper this event," said Tulsa District Commander Chris Hussin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps says that the river level should crest at around 43 to 44 feet. They say Muskogee hasn't seen that level of flooding since the 1940s.
Authorities have already been driving around the Riverside neighborhood telling people to get out and get somewhere safe, because the water is continuing to rise.
Jennifer Tanner and her family left their home behind two days ago, but they come back every few hours to check and see if they have anything left.
“I guess part of us is just hoping that it’s gonna start going down and it’s not really gonna be in your trailer,” she said.
“But today it’s obvious. It’s gonna be in my trailer.”
Tanner said they were able to grab a few important things like birth certificates, sentimental pictures, and some clothes.
But she worries that if the water continues to rise as the Corps of Engineers predicts it will, everything they own could be gone.
“Another six feet of water, it’s going to be completely covering my counters and everything in there by that point,” Tanner said. “My walls, my floor, my furniture. Everything I own.”
Tanner said when she moved in a year ago, she never imagined anything like this could happen.
“You don’t realize you’re just right here,” she said. “We thought there was a bunch more trees, a bunch more space between us and the river.”
Now, she said she’s trying to imagine her new life after the floodwaters go down.
“We’re just gonna have to try to start all over,” she said.
“And it’s not easy to start over when everything you own is in one place and you don’t have anything.”
At the news conference, residents were assured that the city water plant is not in any immediate danger. They don't expect it to be impacted even when the river crests in the area.