WARNER — Residents in several northeast Oklahoma towns were cleaning up Tuesday after heavy rains and flooding drenched the area Monday evening.
Several communities received 2-3 inches of rainfall from Monday to Tuesday. That rain quickly overwhelmed ditches and drainage systems, flooded low-lying areas and blocked streets in Warner and Fort Gibson, in Muskogee County.
Warner Fire Chief Dave Whitson said the department’s swift water rescue team evacuated several residents from flooded areas, included 25 people who were trapped by flood waters at Park Lane Apartments.
Red Cross regional spokesman Kurt Gwartney said the organization planned to set up an emergency shelter to house families displaced by the flooding but canceled those plans after the families found motel accommodations.
Heavy rains left about 4 inches of rain inside the fieldhouse at Connors State College’s main campus in Warner, spokeswoman Ami Maddocks said. Rains and flooding also delayed work on construction projects at the college’s Warner and Muskogee campuses, she said. College officials have not determined the extent of the damage, she said.
Anna Edwards, a Warner resident, said the water ran into her garage and crept into part of her dining room Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, Edwards, 90, and her daughter were cleaning up the mess flood waters left and waiting to see how badly the carpet was damaged.
“I’ll just wait and see,” she said.
Muskogee County emergency manager Jeff Smith said the situation Monday in Warner and Fort Gibson was unique because of the large amount of rainfall the area received in such a short time.
“The water runoff systems were just not capable of handling that amount of water,” Smith said. “The great thing about flash flooding, though, if you can say something is good, is that it goes away pretty quickly.”
Lake levels at 8 a.m. Tuesday
Canton Lake: 12.67 feet below normal
Grand Lake: normal
Lake Tenkiller: 0.66 feet above normal
Lake Eufaula: normal
Broken Bow Lake: 0.66 feet above normal
Lake Texoma: 9.54 feet below normal
Lake Thunderbird: 0.75 feet below normal
Arcadia Lake: 0.49 feet above normal
Lake Altus: 30.35 feet below normal