Wagoner Pumps Out Flood Waters, Families Return Home

Monday, June 1st 2015, 6:30 pm
By: News On 6

Some of the floodwater in Wagoner is receding, which means several families are getting to go back to their homes.

Fort Gibson was expected to reach 100 percent flood capacity Monday. All the floodgates are now open, but it's up in Wagoner where officials need an extra pump to get all the rainwater out and into the lake,

Every second, 116,000 cubic feet of water is rushing out of Fort Gibson Dam's floodgates. Nearly a month of rain filled the lake to overflowing and backed up the rain water in Wagoner.

Tommy Weiss knew it was time to leave when more rain started to fall in an already flooded Wagoner neighborhood.

"I wasn't expecting this that's for sure," he said. "It was scary. Another ten minutes [of rain] and we would've had water in the house."

To move more than 18 million gallons of water a day into Fort Gibson Lake, Wagoner is using four portable pumps.

5/29/2015 Related Story: Wagoner Pumping Millions Of Gallons Of Water To Prevent More Flooding

"The city had to add 24-hour monitoring to the pumps to protect the dikes from washing out, so it's been a very long weekend for us," said Heath Underwood with Wagoner County Emergency Management.

While the pumps did their work, the community spent the weekend making thousands of sandbags for homes and businesses. The Coweta Tigers football team even helped their Wagoner rivals get the sandbags filled.

Underwood said four Wagoner County homes were evacuated and that flood waters threatened several other homes.

5/29/2015 Related Story: Wagoner Residents Evacuated Due To Rising Flood Waters

The goal now is to get another pump on the dike.

"If we add the fifth one we should make some headway and get all this water out of here," Underwood said.

Weiss and his neighbors are happy to see the water go away.

5/28/2015 Related Story: Pooling Flood Water Forces Wagoner Residents Out Of Homes

"It makes me feel good. Last two days I've watched it, it has come down. A couple of inches every 12 hours or whatever, but that means a bunch," he said.

County officials don't expect all the water to go away anytime soon. They said it could take a couple of weeks, and that's when they'll start their damage assessments.