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Boats missing after breaking free from docks

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 23:21:33-05

CHOUTEAU, Okla. -- Several boat docks remain missing almost a week after the structures broke free during flooding in Mayes County.

Not long after the banks of the Grand River overflowed Tuesday, the docks at Chouteau Bend Recreation Area came loose and floated downstream while several boats were still parked inside.

Kim Hackbirth, who moved into the mobile home park almost four years ago, watched from a window at her house, as the floodwaters washed away the docks.

"When I got up in the morning, they were right outside my window," Hackbirth said. "The enclosed fishing dock and two of the boat docks were all hooked together."

"All of a sudden," she added, "they started moving and started breaking free, and that roar (of the water), it just carried them away."

The owner is still unsure where the docks went almost a week later. Two of his own boats were stored inside the docks.

Hackbirth said her neighbor not only lost his mobile home during the flood but his rowboat as well, so she hopes he'll get back it soon.

"I'm hoping somebody might come across this little green rowboat down there and bring it back up to Chouteau for him," Hackbirth said.

The boat owners would like some assistance finding their missing boats, but representatives for Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were unavailable for comment Monday.