Flooding erodes North Canadian River shoreline in Choctaw, swallowing barns and threatening two houses on the river's edge

A Choctaw family evacuated their home Thursday after floodwaters caused the North Canadian River to change its course and eat the shoreline through their backyard, taking two barns and threatening to wash two houses on the property into the river.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: June 7, 2013

Buford said he was astounded as the river moved closer and closer. He has lived on the property 10 years and has never seen it flood on this scale.

District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan, whose crews helped the Bufords move some of their things under a law that allows them to work on private property during disasters, said the same erosion threatening the Buford home also is causing problems for several county bridges.

Crews have been working to stabilize the bases of those bridges so they don't wash away.

“We've just never seen these kinds of water levels with this kind of speed,” Maughan said. “No one around here has. Major trees have fallen, and that has altered the course of the river.”

Buford said an insurance adjuster was headed to his home, which he expects will be a total loss. He doesn't know where his family will go, but he said he was thankful the gradual nature of the erosion at least allowed his family to save some of their things.

“We're getting out of here,” Buford said. “We're moving. I just thank God it wasn't a tornado or everything would have been gone in an instant.”

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