From Drought To Floods, Green Country Gets Hit Again

Sunday, April 24th 2011, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Just a week ago it felt like all of Oklahoma was on fire. Now, it seems we're about to wash away.

So, how did things change so much, so fast?

Orange flames creped dangerously close to homes last week, replaced now by the pitter-patter of rain and water rushing through swollen creeks.

Nicole McGavock is a hydrologist for the National Weather Service.

"That means I deal mostly with flooding. River flooding, flash flooding," McGavock said. "It's been pretty slow just because we've been in a drought."

McGavock blames rainy El Nino's twin La Nina. It caused the jetstream pattern to shift, keeping rain away from the Oklahoma plains and causing crops to wilt.

"It can impact what actually happens when the rain does come."

Prime example: flooded roads all over Green Country. La Nina's now weakening so springtime cold fronts are finally here. This one's stalled right over Green Country.

McGavock expects two to three inches of rain Sunday alone.

News On Six viewers report the storm's dumped nearly eight inches of rain on their Creek County neighborhood.

"We always joke around that a drought's always ended by flood," McGavock said.

Be careful what you wish for. The rain we needed so desperately is now here, and the water's moving just as rapidly as those wildfires.

The National Weather Service expects major flooding along the Illinois River and surrounding campgrounds.

The Turner Turnpike will be shut down both directions between mile markers

158 and 178 for a fire.