Muskogee County continues to see historical levels of flooding, while Cherokee County residents have thus far escaped nature's wrath during this round of storms.
Two barges halted their progress down the flooding Arkansas River at Lock and Dam 16, near Webbers Falls. The barges, which broke loose for a second time late Wednesday night, collided with the dam early Thursday afternoon without causing any obvious damage, said Muskogee County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith.
"They both hit the dam, turned onto their sides, the first one rolled under the second one," Smith said. "The second one started taking on water and looked like it was sinking underwater and then it just rolled to the side."
Smith said that while a damage assessment was ongoing, further disaster appears to have been averted.
"Outside of the barges not making it to the dam, this was the most desirable outcome," Smith said.
The towns of Fort Gibson, Braggs, and Okay are all out of power following the arrival of water in an Oklahoma Gas and Electric substation in the company's Muskogee plant.
According to the outage tracker at http://www.oge.com , the outages are affecting over 3,000 people in Fort Gibson alone.
A release from Muskogee County District 1 Commissioner Ken Doke states that power could remain cut off until flooding recedes.
"In the meantime, our emergency response teams are working on an interim solution. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available," Doke wrote.
Muskogee County continues to see historic levels of flooding. Muskogee County Emergency Management, City of Muskogee Emergency Management, Muskogee Police, Muskogee Fire, Muskogee County EMS, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office continue a unified command center to address the flooding along the Arkansas River.
Thursday, at 10 a.m., a briefing was held to address the flooding and continued rising water levels along the Arkansas River. Evacuation is strongly recommended of residents in any low-lying areas along the river. The Red Cross has shelters set up for anyone forced to leave their homes. Residents in the Muskogee and Fort Gibson area needing shelter should go to the "Warrior Gym" at Bacone College located at 2299 Old Bacone Road in Muskogee.
Residents seeking shelters in Webbers Falls and surrounding areas should go to the "Church on the Word" located at 1511 Culwell Drive in Warner.
Another shelter is in the process of being opened in the Fort Gibson area. More information will be provided upon opening of the shelter.
Muskogee County EMS is fully staffed and has pre-positioned trucks in preparation for any medical emergencies near affected areas.
Rescue boats and personnel are on standby should they be needed. The Muskogee Police Department continues to answer calls with priority placed on those in affected flood areas.
The Muskogee County Sheriff's Office continues to have two man units patrol area roads and near affected areas to ensure safety and provide information about current flooding to emergency crews. The Sheriff's Office is on a limited response protocol and will only answer emergency calls for service. Should the Sheriff's Office become inundated with calls, Muskogee Police Department will assist.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol continues to evaluate the barges in the River.
US Highway 69 remains open to north and south bound traffic. Parts of Interstate-40, Highway 10, Highway 64, Highway 62, Highway 104, and Highway 72 are closed along the Arkansas River due to flooding.
OG&E is working on power outages in the Fort Gibson and Braggs areas, anyone affected should contact OG&E at 1-800-272-9741.
Updates will be posted on the Muskogee County and City Emergency Management Facebook page
For updated road closures, we recommend checking Google maps or downloading the "Waze" app on your mobile device.
The Public is asked to call (918) 683-0223 for any questions or concerns or can email, firstname.lastname@example.org.