Heavy rain causes problems in Oklahoma, floods some roads

Monday, December 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Heavy rain flooded some rural roads in southeastern Oklahoma Sunday and forced the cancellation of races at an eastern Oklahoma horse racing track.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the Glover River in McCurtain County.

Choctaw, Latimer, LeFlore and Pushmataha counties also were placed under a flash flood watch Sunday.

McAlester had received 3.82 inches of rain by 6 p.m. Sunday evening. Muskogee registered 1.90 inches.

The river stood at 15.3 feet at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and was forecast to rise above the flood stage of 16 feet Sunday afternoon, cresting at 17.5 feet Sunday evening. The river was expected to fall back below flood stage before midnight as rainfall subsided.

A dispatcher for the Broken Bow Police Department said some creeks in McCurtain County had overflowed their banks and flooded roads in low-lying areas, but no evacuations had been ordered.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said all major roads in the county remained open.

Heavy rain forced the cancellation of races at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw. Sunday was to be the final day of live races at the Sequoyah County track.

``It was in the best interest of our jockeys and horses,'' Blue Ribbon general manager Don Essary said. Officials said track conditions were the deciding factor in cancellation of the races.

The patrol said heavy rain contributed to a one-vehicle crash in Adair County that killed a 16-year-old Stilwell resident.

The crash occurred at 9:15 p.m. Saturday on Oklahoma 100 when a pickup truck driven by Michal D. Eagle veered out of control on the rain-slickened highway, ran off the road and struck a tree, troopers said.

Eagle, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle, the patrol said. The wreckage was discovered by a passing motorist about 8 a.m. Sunday.