With Rain In The Forecast, Green Country Firefighters Prepare For Flooding

Friday, June 6th 2014, 7:27 pm
By: Craig Day

With the likelihood of more rain, there's the potential for flash flooding across the region all weekend.

Since our entire area has a chance of getting very heavy rainfall, in a very short amount of time, it can cause creeks like this one to rise quickly, meaning drivers will have to think quickly.

Four Mile Creek in Oologah is usually only about four or five feet across, but with the recent heavy rain, it's 15 to 20 feet above normal in places.

With more rain coming, firefighters with the Northwest Rogers County Fire Department are concerned.

"If we get more over the weekend as they're calling, we're going to be looking for the flooding to happen," said Chief David Puckett with the Norwest Rogers County Fire Department.

Water is moving swiftly in creeks all across Eastern Oklahoma. Emergency crews will check trouble spots frequently over the weekend, but want drivers to be cautious in case floodwater covers roads.

"They come up quickly, and they can sure take you by surprise," firefighter Billy Crose said.

The firefighters are also preparing emergency boats, including one that can operate in as little as six inches of water.

"When you have a large amount of water dumped in a short amount of time, it has to go someplace," said Crose.

Puckett said they don't just want drivers to be cautious. He said children are naturally drawn to the water.

"What they don't realize is the seriousness of it," said Puckett. "The swift water moving can just sweep them away, six inches of swift water can sweep anybody off their feet and sweep them downstream."

Puckett reminds his seven-year-old son frequently about the danger, and urges other parents to have that same conversation about safety.

"He said if it's moving really fast, don't get by it," said Cooper Puckett. "And take like five steps back if you're really close to it."

Emergency personnel emphasize it all the time, but they said they cannot stress it enough: "Turn around. Don't drown."