Okmulgee County Begins Assessment Of Flood Damage


Thursday, May 12th 2022, 10:08 pm


OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -

Okmulgee County leaders said the road to recovery after last week's unforgiving floods could take months.

Leroy Bullard said he and his housekeeper didn't know what else to do, so they sat on his porch in Dewar and watched the water rise.

"Nature has its way," said Bullard. It's time to clean up.

"Floods like that just clean the yards out," said Bullard. "I've been picking up the trash and stuff; that whole side of the field was just trash lined up."

Leroy Bullard said he was sleeping when the flood waters reached his home.

"My son came over about 3:30 and he woke me up and he said you're already flooded," said Bullard. "We just sat out here and waited until the water went down."

Bullard watched as the water poured inside his pickup.

"Wasn't scared. More fascinating more than anything," said Bullard. "Just about everybody down here in this flat area suffered some kind of damage. My boy. He lost his wife's car."

Okmulgee County Emergency Management completed its initial assessments on 27 flooded homes.

Floodplain assessments begin tomorrow which includes about 16 homes.

"The sun's shining. The wind's blowing. It's evaporating water. The water's going down, in time," said Tim Craighton, Director of Emergency Management for Okmulgee County.

Director Tim Craighton said two or three homes are considered destroyed. "We'll start rebuilding from there," said Craighton.

He wants to remind people that wet dry-wall and other impacted areas in homes need to be cut out to prevent mold.

The county began assessing roads today and crunching numbers to give to the Governor.

Craighton said they have about half a million dollars in damage so far and that's having assessed a little over a third of what they need to.

"Everything from the surface of the road being washed off where you're down to the rock bed to bridges and culverts being gone," said Craighton. "That's a lot of grader time. That's a lot of hauling gravel."

Several roads are still closed, and the county is working to temporarily re-open some this week.

Leroy said if he's learned anything in his 75 years... "Life goes on," said Bullard.

Craighton said Okmulgee County has disaster relief groups scheduled to come help this weekend and early next week.

He said a multi-agency recovery shop will be set up Saturday at Hilldale High School in Muskogee from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Related Story: Okmulgee Residents Dealing With Severe Flooding