Flooding Problems Plagues NE Oklahoma

Thursday, September 10th 2009, 11:46 am
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

SALINA, OK -- As much as six inches of rain overnight left a flood of damage to roads and bridges near Salina in Mayes County.  Repairs are underway, but will take several days.

"We got six and a half inches last night and an inch and a half yesterday morning," said Mayes County Commissioner Melvin Pritchett.

County Commissioner Melvin Pritchett was up most of the night watching the water rise.  On Thursday afternoon, he was out surveying the damage caused by all the rain.

"It just hung in here during the night and kept thundering and raining and it just rained hard," said Mayes County Commissioner Melvin Pritchett.

The rain washed out a low water crossing that was under construction on Wickliffe Creek.  The plan was to add on to a small crossing, but now the old part has been undermined and needs to be replaced.  Meanwhile, the new work wasn't finished.

The county planned to pour the deck on it Thursday, but that was delayed by rain.        

Derwin Daniels lives on the other side.

"If we had one more day, we would have had that poured, but mother nature got us," said Derwin Daniels.

Five homes are across the creek and are inaccessible, except by walking, until the water drops.  The county plans to push up some gravel and make a temporary bridge.

The flooding created a current strong enough to wash out several low water crossings and small bridges.   On one road just north of Salina, the water washed out a crossing, and took the pipes that were underneath a quarter mile downstream.

The state was taking on the repairs to the culvert.  Workers placed a temporary pipe and covered it with gravel so people could get across.

Everyone was surprised by the damage caused by a late summer rain storm in the middle of the night.

"We thought it was over with and last night here it come," said Derwin Daniels.

The crossings that were under repair had been damaged in a heavy rain May 1st.  The county had crews all day grading roads and making temporary repairs.

There were also concerns in Muskogee County in Oktaha and Wainwright.  Authorities on Thursday afternoon were dealing with street flooding in both communities and in rural areas nearby.

There are reports of rural roads in Wagoner County as well, especially between Coweta and Porter. 

Mayes County Flooding

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has closed State Highway 10 at Cedar Creek in Nowata County because of flooding.  Cedar Creek is located east of U.S. Highway 169. 

Rain totals across the area include almost 3 inches within the past 24 hours in Rogers County. Wagoner County has recorded over 3 inches of rain.  Mayes County has 2.5 inches and Craig County has had 4.3 inches of rain. 

Law enforcement is reminding motorists to not drive into water which is across the roadway.

For the latest weather information, check out NewsOn6.com's weather page.