Okmulgee County Flood Washes Out Roads, Buries Vehicles

Monday, April 25th 2011, 12:35 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

Okmulgee County, Oklahoma -- The corner of Bixby and Hectorville Roads in Okmulgee looks more like a river than a rural intersection. 

It's hard to tell from the picture to the right but it is actually an intersection.  It's in north Okmulgee County.  It's a place that's causing a headache for drivers and for those who put their lives on the line to rescue the people who get stuck. 

"We got the page earlier, I guess highway patrol had been down in the area and heard somebody yelling," said Jerry Gammill with the Liberty Fire Department. 

Gammill and the rest of his firefighters helped a stranded driver at the intersection early Monday morning. 

He says the driver man tried to walk through the 3 ½ foot deep water at first, then the current began to take control and he was forced to swim.  He made it about 3/4 of a mile from his truck before he hit dry land and was eventually rescued.  

"He said he had lost everything before in Katrina and I said, 'Well, it'd look like you would have learned a little something there but.'," said Jerry Gammill. 

"All through the county we've got roads that are closed," said George Jacobs, Okmulgee County Emergency Management Director. 

Jacobs says dozens of roads in the county are flooded and emergency crews made more than 24 water rescues late Sunday and early Monday morning. 

So far, no one has been hurt but Jacobs says drivers need to take these situations seriously. 

"We've had people that are going into the water with kids in the car. Now the highway patrol and the sheriff's office are starting to actually write citations for people going past the barricades and the road closed signs," said George Jacobs. 

Officials say this road and this intersection will remain closed for at least, the next several days.

They add if you see a road closed barrier or a high water sign it's best to just turn around and be safe.