Water rescue teams are maintaining a sad vigil on the Oklahoma River where four people were missing after being swept into the waterway.
They had taken cover Friday in a drainage area before torrential rains carried them through a storm drain leading to the river near the Dell plant, firefighters said. A 4-year-old boy with the group was dead.
“We are doing what we can. We did an extensive search ... to no avail,” Oklahoma City Fire Maj. Tammy McKinney said Saturday.
“As fast as that water is moving, it's hard. The water is dictating what we do.”
The heavy rains led to flash floods and impassable roads in many areas of the metro. High water factored in at least two other deaths and dozens of other rescues.
The body of James C. Talbert, 65, was found about 1 p.m. Saturday in a creek just east of Dobbs Road in Harrah, said Mark Myers, a spokesman with the Oklahoma County sheriff's office.
Myers said Talbert left for work early Saturday and his vehicle was found empty near East Hefner Road and Dobbs Road just after 6 a.m.
“His vehicle was found washed off the road,” Myers said. “He was either washed off the road or tried to get out of his car. I don't think people realized how deep and strong the water was.”
“This is a very tragic incident,” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said. “Here was a man doing his daily routine. It was still dark outside when unexpectedly he lost his life after driving off this washed out bridge. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Dorenia Akins, 69, of Clearview, died after she drove into standing water on a county road and was swept into a creek, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Her 14-year-old passenger was able to exit through the vehicle's sunroof but Akins wasn't able to scramble out and she drowned.
Meantime, floodwaters lapped a few feet up the side of many homes Saturday in the Crutcho area of southern Oklahoma County. Nearly 100 homes were evacuated.
Allen Crawford, 28, a Crutcho resident, returned to his mobile home with his wife and two children Friday after the tornado danger had passed.
When they woke up Saturday morning they found water halfway up their front door and a rescue boat delivering neighbors to safety.
“My whole car was flooded up to the steering wheel by the time they came and got us,” Crawford said after hopping out of the back of Humvee that rescued his family. “With the storm and then the flood it really feels just like things are piling on; like we can't catch a break.”