Wagoner County Dealing With Flooding Aftermath With More Rain On The Way

Wednesday, June 17th 2015, 6:50 am
By: Emory Bryan

The potential for more flooding across eastern Oklahoma comes as water is still draining from Memorial Day weekend and all the rain since. 

Tuesday, a team from FEMA visited Coweta looking over school buildings they'll use as a disaster relief center. That's to handle the paperwork from the last storm. 

FEMA is expecting more claims if the rain that's predicted comes in. 

Two and a half weeks ago several parts of Wagoner flooded.  Those areas where the water is still draining now are where Wagoner County Emergency Management believes they'll have the first problems in the next few days.

"We're just getting our teams ready, our boats ready and our sand bags ready, just to mobilize into the affected areas. We're still trying to get water out of some areas, so we've got water we're dealing with from the old flood and we've got new water coming in, " said Heath Underwood, Wagoner County Emergency Management Director. 

And they're repairing damaged roads they believe they'll have to repeat in the next week. A bridge just south of Porter was damaged and the repairs won't be done before more flooding rain comes in. It's the main route for customers to Livesay Orchards, where too much rain is adding to the work of farming.

"It's been a problem in the short term with disease problems, really in all the crops, we'll take that as a trade off to get more soil moisture back in the ground," said Brian Livesay, Livesay Orchards. 

The county got plenty of experience dealing with the last flood, with high water on one side from the Arkansas River - and high water in Fort Gibson Lake on the other. Now as they prepare for the next flood - they're making arrangements for a disaster relief center to handle claims from the last one.

"It's centrally located area between the floods and the tornado damage, so people will come here to get their assistance, with FEMA, and the state of Oklahoma to try and get help with the damage to their homes," said Heath Underwood. 

The relief center could open as soon as next week, but that will depend some on what happens this week. They have purposely found a spot on high ground.