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Town of Avant 'essentially a lake' after storms, flooding

Posted at 11:30 AM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 14:20:47-04

AVANT, Okla. — Volunteer fire crews are launching boats Tuesday to get to people trapped in water-filled homes in Avant.

The rescues are at Bird Creek along old Highway 11. Flood waters are surrounding the small town of Avnt.

Officials say the entire town is flooded and volunteer fire departments are actively working to get people to safety.

At about 10:30 a.m., crews launched a boat. They tell us they received reports of a 12-year-old who needs help, that rescue was their first priority.

Volunteer fire fighters also say the water in Avant varies in depths. The water levels in town were such that the only way out was by boat.

“They’re telling me the whole town. The shallow spots are eight inches and then some of it is over the tops of trucks,” said Brandon Harper, with the Barnsdall Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire crews say this flooding is the worst they’ve seen during their time volunteering They say its a similar scene to when they were deployed to Houston during Hurricane Harvey.

Some residents say they expected the flooding, and prepared by moving their cars to higher ground on Monday night. However, no one prepared for the water to remain as long as it did, trapping them in their homes. Homeowners say the town is essentially a lake at this time.

“It’s very dirty lots of debris lots of logs. The fireman had to hand the boat and push it up to our porch and they were waist deep,” said Jeff and Cindy Hemn, two residents.

We even saw horses being rescued from the waters.

Officials are urging everyone to stay away from this area as flooding is expected to worsen as the rain continues today. Luckily for now, the rain has stopped and storms have passed.

Residents are now waiting to get back to their homes to assess the damage.

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