Flooding Soaks Okmulgee And Muskogee Counties

Wednesday, July 22nd 2015, 2:04 pm
By: Tess Maune

Residents of Muskogee and Okmulgee counties are dealing with significant flooding after heavy rains Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Osage SkyNews 6 HD flew along Highway 62 in both counties and saw spots which looked like islands surrounded by a lake. A number of rural roads were under water and many fields looked more like swamps.

News on 6 Meteorologist Travis Meyer says up to six inches of rain fell in some areas.

One home along Highway 62 looked like it was on an island surrounded by a lake, and the rising water also crept right up to the front yard of another home.

At the RidgeCreek Apartments on East 4th Street in Okmulgee, several people were cleaning up a mess the water left behind for the second time this year.

The water came down a lot Wednesday afternoon, but the damage was already done as a restoration team ripped the carpet from one apartment and will likely have to do the same with another.

Doris Smith said she's lived there for two years and this isn't the first time she's had to deal with flooding. Her apartment has already flooded several times this year.

“Every time it rains good this is what I get,” she said.

From her front porch, there's a view that has her frustrated.

“I see a pond that shouldn't be here,” she said.

And inside her apartment, there's another pond of sorts, one that has soaked into her carpet.

“There was like two inches of water running through my whole apartment,” Smith said.

A downpour that dumped six inches of rain in Smith's neighborhood is to blame for the flooding in her and Matt Gore’s units.

“Just, I don't know...it makes me sad,” Gore said.

The water washed into two other units as well, including Gore's.

“I took my bucket and was shoving all the water out and it just kept on coming in and coming in,” he said.

This is the second time this year that the units have flooded.

RidgeCreek is an apartment complex for disabled and low-income residents, so moving isn't a viable option for everyone.

“Financially it is very hard to do. I am disabled, so finding a place that is within my budget is hard,” Smith said.

There are three drains in the yard that should help alleviate some of the problem, but Smith said they don't work because they need to be cleaned out, but she said she can't get anyone to take her concerns seriously.

“[Whether] you're disabled or not, as long as you're paying your rent, you should not have to live like this,” she said.

So for now, at the expense of the apartment, carpet cleaners are vacuuming up the water and ripping out carpet, while neighbors are helping each other, hoping they'll dry out for good soon.

“Nobody should have to be in constant worry that their stuff is gonna be ruined, or that they're gonna wake up to a big, ole pond in their living room or throughout their apartment or even in their front yard,” Smith said.

She said she plans to be out of her apartment and into a rental home by the first of August.

Our calls to RidgeCreek's main office were not returned.