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Oklahoma storms: First Oklahoma tornadoes, now floodwater

Residents in Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties dealing with disaster
BY RHETT MORGAN AND SHEILA STOGSDILL State Correspondent Published: May 25, 2011
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Early Tuesday, a couple of residences in a Miami housing addition were damaged by water from Tar Creek, Geasland said.

Two families were evacuated from a tornado-hit area of southern Delaware County after the Illinois River crested Tuesday morning, said Robert Reel, Delaware County Emergency Management Director.

The families were evacuated by boat at the Fiddler's Bend area and sent to a shelter opened by the American Red Cross shelter at the Kansas High School gymnasium, he said.

“At first they were hit by a tornado (on Sunday) and now floodwaters,” Reel said.

The Illinois River crested at Watts on Tuesday morning at 25 feet, said Ed Fite, Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission administrator.

Watts is about 15 miles from Fiddler's Bend, a campground area with cabins and weekend homes. The campground area is located two miles east of Kansas, Okla., where hundreds of trees, most measuring more than 150 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter, were uprooted.

Fite said 40 families were affected by the storms.

“Some of the houses that were on the hillside — the tornado got them,” Fite said. “The other houses that are in the holler are sitting in 15 feet of flood water.”

In nearby West Siloam Springs, 17 homes were destroyed and 12 people injured when an EF2 tornado struck the area Sunday evening.


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