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Residents in low-lying areas of Muskogee County seek higher ground

Posted at 11:36 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 23:53:15-04

By: Andres Gutierrez

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- The Riverside Mobile Home Park is one of the low-lying area county officials have been monitoring. For days, authorities have urged residents to leave for higher ground as waters continued to rise.

As the sun rose over Muskogee County Thursday, residents received a better perspective on the depth of the Arkansas River as its waters crept onto land.

Workers at the sewage plant kept an eye on the rising waters so did Julia Pittinger and Larry Ross.

"We’ve seen a lot of things out here and a lot of strange things out here, but never water this high, to where we’ve had to make alternate routes to get out," said Pittinger, Muskogee County resident.

Although emergency officials are urging to residents in the county to evacuate, Pittinger and Ross are staying put citing their home's elevation.

"We got everything we need to survive for probably a month we got water we got a cupboard full of food a freezer full of meat," said Ross, Muskogee County resident.

Ross was around for the last historic flood.

"I worked at this paper mill in '86 and I was still able to get to work. We couldn’t get through this road. I probably could’ve driven through it but they had it blocked, anyways, never seen water this high," Ross said.

Jacob Fritts did evacuate from the Riverside Mobile Home Park but the future of his home is uncertain.

“I'm worried about being homeless before it’s all over," Fritts said. "Because I don’t have the money to fix my house. I barely have money to keep food on the table for my kids and I work 12 hours a day—I’m just a working man I don’t know what to do.”

For the time being Fritts and his family are staying with his in-law until it's safe to return.

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