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Drivers ignore barricades along flooded roads in Yukon

Yukon police issued 22 citations Saturday to drivers for ignoring or moving barricades set up on flooded roads. Several subsequent car rescues resulted.
HANNAH COVINGTON hcovington@opubco.com Published: June 7, 2013
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When police set up barricades along flooded roadways after last Friday's storms, they expected a few brazen motorists would ignore them. Sure enough, the first citation was issued Saturday about 1 a.m.

The number kept growing.

By the day's end, police had issued 22 driving citations related to the flooding, Yukon Court Clerk Candy Schwarz said.

Fines for failing to obey a traffic control device range from $130 to $500. The fine is lower for driving around a barricade than for those who get out of a car and move it.

Yukon police dealt with both types in the 22 reported violations Saturday.

“The barricades are for a driver's own safety,” police Capt. Mitch Hoskins said. “They think, ‘This time, it'll be OK.' Next thing you know, we're out there having to do a rescue.”

Police responded to seven rescue calls from drivers in stalled cars and pulled 13 people to safety, Hoskins said.

“These people get swept in the water and then they call for help, and it puts other people's family members in jeopardy trying to rescue them,” Schwarz said.

During Friday and Saturday's storms, the Yukon area was drenched with almost 5 inches of rain, according to Oklahoma Mesonet weather network sites at El Reno and west Oklahoma City. Yukon lies between the two sites.

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