Northeast Oklahoma Could See Dangerous Flooding

Friday, April 28th 2017, 6:59 pm
By: Tess Maune

Major flooding is expected in parts of Northeast Oklahoma this weekend and dangerous flooding could go beyond areas along creeks and rivers. 

National Weather Service Hydrologists said they don't expect the Arkansas River in Tulsa to get outside its banks but the biggest concern is the Illinois River.

But that's not to say the Tulsa metro won't get hit hard with dangerous flash floods. 

The folks at the National Weather Service office in Tulsa are busier than normal today. 

"When we have major flooding it is life-threatening," said NWS Service Hydrologist & Meteorologist Nicole McGavock. 

McGavock said the Illinois River is expected to get hit hardest.

She said it won't be quite as bad as the December 2015 flood but expects the river to come up about 25 feet.

"That's quite a bit of rain that we're expecting for a really big area, so that's gonna lead to a lot of problems," McGavock said. 

Flash flooding is the biggest concern, something that's expected to impact many areas along the Illinois.

"That can happen just about anywhere, in urban areas, especially like Tulsa," she said. 

McGavock said areas in and around Tulsa should be prepared to see water rise as well, even in spots not prone to flooding.

"You have a lot of streets, concrete, you can get ponding very quickly to occur when it comes down really hard," she said. 

Protecting yourself is simple.

Don't drive into flood waters, turn around and find another route.

And leave if you know access to your home is going to be cut off due to high water.

"All of those things you can do ahead of time and prevent death," she said.