Rain Moving In Brings Flash Flood Risk Across Green Country

Wednesday, May 13th 2015, 11:15 pm
By: News On 6

As more rain falls, area lakes keep rising. Some roads are already flooded and the next round of rain will make it even more dangerous.

With the ground already saturated, flooding, and especially flash flooding, could be a very real possibility in Tulsa and all across Green Country in the next few days.

5/13/2015 Related Story: Flooding Forces Evacuations Near Poteau River

As water covers roads and pastures, there is more on the way, creating a risk for anyone who comes too close, according to Emergency Management Director, Roger Jolliff.

"With deep water you aren't going to be able to swim in it, no one is strong enough to swim in flood waters," he said.

One of the worst floods in Tulsa's history was in 1984, where 14 people died.

Since then, the city has made major improvements to mitigate floods by buying houses in the flood plain and turning the land into soccer fields or parks.

"Where we could get use out of it but not have homes flooding in areas that should have never been built so close to those creeks," Jolliff said.

Despite the progress, with the recent rain, flooding is still possible; and if creeks or streams overflow the city will sound an alarm.

Jolliff said, "We will sound the sirens if streams are losing their banks and threatening structures."

All it takes is just six inches of water to sweep your car away, according to Tulsa Fire Captain, Stan May.

5/6/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Retention Ponds A Dangerous Place For Kids To Play

"You really don't know what is under there, what part of the road has been washed away. How far over the roadway goes before you slip in the ditch," he said.

Despite all the warnings, firefighters say some still take the risk.

"If it catches the bottom part of your car, it can pull it right off in the ditch or the creek," May said.

One man in Texas had to stand on the top of his truck after the water swallowed it.

Firefighters said if you do get caught in your vehicle, the top is the safest place to go; but said it's better to not put yourself in that situation and to turn around.

City officials want to remind parents to keep a close eye on children when they play outside over the next few days, to make sure they aren't playing too close to water.