Flooding Causing Concerns In Pryor

Friday, May 1st 2009, 12:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Latoya Silmon, The New On 6

PRYOR, OK - Parts of northeast Oklahoma were pounded with nearly eight inches of rain in just a matter of hours on Friday.   Pryor was one of the hardest hit communities.  Emergency workers had to come to the rescue as dozens of people were trapped inside homes and cars.

Heavy rains pummeled Pryor sending the town into a panic.

"It's been nuts.  Seven inches of rain in how many hours? In four and half hours.  That's a lot of rain," said Jimmy Tramel.

Floodwaters shut down all major highways leading into and out of town and flooded many of the streets, trapping those who dared to brave them.  But, people like Tammy Heilman may have been in the most danger.

"She called me and said mom you better get out here and when I did it was already like this," said Tammy Heilman's mother.

Heilman's mobile home was surrounded by water.  She and her 3-year-old daughter were trapped inside.

Heilman's mother watched in horror as the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Water Rescue Team made several failed attempts to get to them.  Eventually, Heilman and daughter got out safely.

"It was starting to come in at the back of the trailer and it scared me.  It was starting to really scare me," said Tammy Heilman.

And, with the water coming in at her hips, Tammy says she knew time was running out.  She's just glad she and little Jazmine got out when they did.

"She was freaking out and I was trying to keep her calm, but it was okay. I was just worried about her," said Tammy Heilman.

There were nearly 35 rescues in Mayes County over a period of a few hours.  Pryor is still assessing all of the damage, but the mayor says he's already thinking about how the state can help with the cleanup process.

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A flash flood watch for the area remains in effect through Sunday night.