Cleanup Under Way In Flooded Pryor

Saturday, May 2nd 2009, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

PRYOR, OK -- Pryor was especially hit hard by the flooding, and residents there are trying to recover.

The town was at the center of one of the most powerful storms to hit the area. Residents say it's the most powerful flooding that they have seen.

A 96-acre farm looked like an island in the middle of an ocean.

Jerrad Nicholas' tractor is doubling as a boat this weekend. The famer needs to navigate waist-high water to get his six horses to safety.

"You couldn't see any of the fences," Nicholas said. "You could just see the top of those green gates, just barely."

The rain fell so fast, he barely had time to move his horses to the higher ground of the stable.

"It was up to their bellies," Nicholas said. "It was up past their bellies in some spots. They were trying to find higher ground, but there was just no higher ground to find."

He moved the animals to the safety of his home.

More than eight inches of rain pounded Pryor. From his front porch, Travis Thomas watched it creep closer and closer, higher and higher.

"The water level right here was about a foot from the top of the road," Thomas said. "That's as high as I've ever seen it."

Thomas' entire yard was submerged in belly-deep rainwater. His driveway was ruined.

With neighbors helping out at his side, the cleanup is under way.

Nicholas' farm is right off State Highway 20, which is at the center of the floods. Most of the highway was shut down because of how strong the storms were.

Residents in the middle of cleaning up say all they can do is keep shoveling and wait for sunshine.