Several eastern Oklahoma emergency management centers are reminding citizens to make safety plans now in case of flooding from the tropical system approaching the state.
Okmulgee County Emergency Management Director Timothy Craighton reminds residents the ground is already saturated from recent rainfall, and waters may rise quickly with the expected rain amounts.
Flooding is the cause of the largest number of weather-related deaths, so be sure to turn around if you approach a flooded section of road. Craighton suggested making plans now to have food, water and medications, extra batteries and other items at hand.
John Wylie of Rogers County EMS, advises being aware of your surroundings in order to give law enforcement or other emergency responders accurate information about your location should you need help.
“We dispatch for 13 agencies through our Rogers County E911 Center. They know the roads in their districts, but those needing help will have the most accurate knowledge of which roads flood during major storms or which areas are currently under water,” said Mike Helm, Rogers County District 2 Commissioner.
Avoid areas that are prone to flooding to protect yourself and emergency responders who would have to rescue you.
"Ambulances are big, but just like any other vehicle they are no match for onrushing water crossing a road at an unknown speed or depth,” said Kelly Deal, operations director for Oologah-Talala EMS.
“Citizens can help by providing dispatchers with information on known flooding, flood-prone areas, and alternate routes to the location where help is needed that use roads less likely to be water covered,” he said.
Residents can also help each other by calling neighbors if they know a particular route into an area is under water and what alternate route is still water-free.