Flash flooding hits Oklahoma City during Monday morning commute

Heavy rains caused flash flooding in Oklahoma City during the Monday morning commute, resulting in at least six rescues and interstate closures.

By , Associated Press

  • close
    This image made from video provided by KWTV shows a person stranded in a tree during flash flooding across the Oklahoma City area Monday, June 14, 2010. Flooding stranded motorists on their morning commutes Monday, prompting at least a half-dozen rescues and at least three interstate closures, authorities said.
    View Caption

Flash flooding across the Oklahoma City area stranded motorists on their morning commutes Monday, prompting at least a half-dozen rescues and at least three interstate closures, authorities said.

No injuries were immediately reported but drivers were being warned to stay off the roads, Oklahoma Police Lt. Gamille Hardin said. Portions of interstates 35, 44 and 235 were closed, as were numerous smaller thoroughfares in and out of the metro area.

"There are cars where you can see just the rooftops, they're totally submerged in water," Hardin said. Footage from KOCO-TV showed a person bailing water out of the passenger-side window of a half-submerged car before being rescued by crews on a boat.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

IN PICTURES: Springtime flooding in the US

"There are various swift-water rescues that have occurred and are currently taking place across the city," said Oklahoma City emergency management director Frank Barnes.

Fire crews went door-to-door in the northwest neighborhood of Ski Island, asking residents whose homes back up to Spring Creek to voluntarily evacuate while a nearby dam is evaluated. Rising water was creeping toward the top of the dam by late morning, Oklahoma City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.

Anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain an hour were falling on parts of the city, and the National Weather Service said a few spots had received 9 inches of rain in a matter of hours. Lightning knocked out electricity to some areas.

"There's been showers and thunderstorms almost continually for the better part of six hours," said weather service forecaster Forrest Mitchell. "There are road closings too numerous to mention across Oklahoma County.

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.

"Downtown is flooded," Yager said. "We have a few traffic lights that are out causing problems. Stalled vehicles are causing problems. Crews are in the same situation that our travelers are in. They are stuck in this traffic as well."

Related:

IN PICTURES: Springtime flooding in the US

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...