Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 22, 2013

Just in case: Residents warned about floods

TAHLEQUAH — It may have descended on Cherokee County during spring break, but Thursday’s rainfall seemed to be welcomed by local residents hoping to see progress in the state’s drought conditions.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Cherokee County is in a moderate drought. It’s actually doing better than the rest of Oklahoma, which is suffering from severe, extreme and exceptional drought conditions.

Local emergency preparedness officials realize it may, amidst an ongoing drought, feel a bit out of place to talk about flood preparedness, since it’s been nearly two years since the last major flooding event in this region. But March 18-22 is recognized in the U.S. as Flood Safety Awareness Week to keep citizens aware of what could happen and how to react during a flood event.

Statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association show March was the second-deadliest month for flood-related fatalities in the country last year.

Most people who died in a flood event in 2012 were aged 30-39; of the total number of deaths in the U.S., 71 percent of fatalities were male.

The NOAA says more than half of all people killed in floods are those in vehicles who make the “poor decision to drive down the flooded road” either because another vehicle did so, or because they think the water doesn’t look too deep.

According to the NOAA, it takes only 18 inches of water to lift a car or SUV – and once it floats, the water can easily push the car sideways. Most vehicles, the association says, will tend to roll, trapping people inside and washing them downstream.

“We always say don’t drive through it,” said Tahlequah-Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Gary Dotson. “Even though you may know the road, it could still be deep and washed out. And if we have barricades up on a road, there’s a reason for it; don’t drive around them.”

Dotson said it’s common for Good Samaritans to want to help those who might become stranded in a flood, but if possible, it’s best to call 911.

“We don’t want others to add to the problem,” said Dotson. “We have people trained to get people out of swift-water emergencies. Just keep an eye on the person who is stranded or trapped and try to keep a visual mark on where they are. That information will be helpful to those who respond to the scene to rescue the victim.”

Dotson said those who live in areas known for flooding, especially near bodies of water such as the Illinois River, should always be prepared to evacuate.

He said Emergency Management officials keep a plan in place with public schools, which may have to alter bus routes during a flood. Dotson said parents should check with local schools during a flood to see what changes might be made.

Also, Dotson suggests being prepared to move animals, if necessary.

“Always be sure to move them to higher ground if you have forecasts for flooding coming in,” said Dotson. “The key is to always monitor the weather and be prepared to take action.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks