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Torrential rains flood some areas of Oklahoma City

Heavy rains flood homes, cars

BY MICHAEL BAKER Modified: June 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm •  Published: June 15, 2010

In Edmond, three people trapped in a vehicle by rushing floodwaters were rescued Monday morning near Santa Fe High School.

"We have had dozens and dozens of water rescues today,” said Glynda Chu, Edmond police spokeswoman.

"Most of them were from vehicles stranded in the high water. We had several entire families including the family dogs.”

"Some of our officers have been here more than 25 years, and this is the worst flooding incident they can remember.”

Lake closed

Arcadia Lake was closed because the water continues to rise, threatening to run over the spillway.

Arcadia Lake is 8.3 feet above normal lake level, said W. Ross Adkins, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers spokesman for the Tulsa District.

"There is a lot of water coming into that lake,” Adkins said.

For the first time since the lake became operational in 1986, Adkins said water could run over the spillway.

Edmond and Spring Creek parks are now closed. No new campers are being allowed in, Chu said.

Campers at Scissortail and Central State Park have been moved to higher ground.

Emergency response

About half of the 136 calls the Emergency Medical Services Authority paramedics responded to by 2 p.m. were weather-related, authority spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said. No deaths were reported.

Eighteen car crashes across the metro resulted in six patients being taken to the hospital.

Four people were taken to local hospitals after being stranded in their cars, and seven people who fell were taken for treatment, O'Leary reported.

EMSA medics were involved in five water rescues and took one of those people to a local hospital.

Road closures

Rising and rushing water closed roads throughout the Oklahoma City area as commuters battled the rain during the Monday morning rush hour.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported about 180 calls related to flooding. Troopers worked 28 crashes, six involving injury.

"I have never been this scared,” Oklahoma City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said about her commute to work. "This is way worse than driving in the ice. The water is so deep. The visibility is so low.”

Although the worst flooding was on city streets, highways were not immune. For several hours Monday afternoon, Interstate 35 at Covell and Coffee Creek roads in Edmond was closed, as was Interstate 235 near N 50 in Oklahoma City. Other on- and off-ramps to I-35 and Interstate 40 were also closed during the day.

Several roads throughout the metro area were closed at one point on Monday as creeks spilled over banks and low areas flooded. In Edmond, the northbound lane of Santa Fe Road at Coffee Creek Road was closed because the road has washed away, Chu said.

The main roadway into Will Rogers World Airport was shut down for more than an hour early Monday, and airport officials said several flight delays were reported throughout the day.

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AT A GLANCE
State declaration

Counties included in Monday's state declaration are: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, McIntosh, Mayes, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Oklahoma, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Washita, Woods and Woodward.

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