FORT GIBSON, Okla — In Fort Gibson, there are the spots that are notorious for high water, but this latest round of flooding has caught many by surprise.
As the waters of the Neosho River unleashed its fury on a campground on Friday downstream in Fort Gibson resident Jerry Jackson first needed to see it to believe it.
"Until this morning we didn’t think it was going to get into our house," Jackson said.
But once floodwaters seeped into his wife's downstairs quilt room, Jackson's relatives, friends and church members boated in to help.
"It’s amazing—the turnout—and it’s like that all over town," Jackson said.
Down the road on Ozark street, Paul Walters felt defeated amid the rising waters.
"The anger hits because there’s nothing you can do, " Walters said.
The area where Jackson and Walters live is not considered a floodplain, so neither men have flood insurance adding a hurdle when the clean-up begins
"It’s sad in a way but you know it’s god’s will we do what we have to do it’s not the end of the world we’ll buy another house we can do what we need to do," Jackson said.
Meanwhile first responders spent Friday afternoon door knocking letting residents know the floodwaters may reach Lee street located about a mile away from the river banks.
"I’m a little nervous to be honest with you I’ve lived in this town over 30 years and I’ve never the water come over all the way up to here," Michael sharp, Mayor of Fort Gibson said.
When the town of more than 4,000 lost power Thursday, The American Legion Post 20 on Main street turned into a beacon for the community.
"We had first responders coming in the building all night long getting snacks and water and coffee and just taking a five-minute break," Tim Smith, president and commander of American Legion Post 20 said.
Volunteers are working non-stop disturbing essentials like bottled water to folks like Brandon Kemble.
"We try to make sure some our neighbors get some as well because a lot of people don’t have—may have--transportation to come and get support so we kind of take care of our neighbors as well," Kemble said.
While looking out for one another is a sure certainty
Mayor Sharp advises folks not to chance it with this latest round of flooding.
"Use common sense, be safe," he said. "If you need to leave, leave. We can always come back and fix it but take care of yourself."
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