Floodwaters Close Green Country Highway


Friday, March 30th 2007, 8:39 pm
By: News On 6


Part of a Green Country highway was shutdown Friday because of high water. Flooding caused problems along Highway 20 near Skiatook. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports some people may not like it, but flooding is a problem they’ve learned to live with.

Every time a heavy spring rain moves through Oklahoma people in Skiatook watch, wait and wonder how high the water will get, especially Coy Sams. He lives near Bird Creek.

"The thing about it is, when it rains up in Avant and Barnsdall and Bartlesville, Bird Creek feeds this way and we're the ones who catch it," he said.

Sams has moved several vehicles to higher ground, and many of the valuables in his outbuilding have been taken inside his garage.

"Mother Nature, take it or leave it, you got to live with it," Sams said.

"It's gotten up to about three inches underneath the back,” Skiatook resident Kelligh Lloyd said.

Like Sams, Lloyd is also watching to see if the water will rise. A longtime Skiatook resident, she's used to Bird Creek causing inconveniences and worry.

"When it starts filling up, then we really watch it close,” Lloyd said. “Then we decide how high it is going to get. Then we move the cars out."

First, the water ends up in all the ditches, then, when Bird Creek overflows its banks, there's just nowhere else for the water to go.

State Highway 20 is open right now, but with more heavy rain possible, the highway could end up closing, it’s happened many times before. Whether it happens again, people living nearby will have to watch, wait and wonder some more.

"All you can do is pray for the best," said Sams.

Most Skiatook residents think there isn’t much that can be done when the area gets a really large amount of rain. But the City Manager says he hopes to meet with experts to see if some improvements can be made to help with drainage, which might keep some water off the highway.