One dead, four missing in Oklahoma River

Severe flash floods and impassable roads led to the death of a 4-year-old boy in Oklahoma City, a man in Harrah and the rescue of hundreds in the Crutcho area.
by Adam Kemp Published: June 2, 2013

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.”

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Newsok.com. Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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