NewsFlooding in the Heartland: A Year Later


USS Batfish closing in on reopening

Posted at 4:19 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 11:34:31-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — On May 23, 2019, the USS Batfish floated away from its resting place due to historic floodwaters.

One year later, the park is getting close to reopening, but still needs help.

Muskogee War Memorial Park Executive Director Brent Trout said the money needed to save the Batfish is almost secure. The only part still missing is the local funding the park needs to collect.

That local funding will need to be $150-250 thousand, and right now Trout said they have $72 thousand.

To make a donation to help save the Batfish, click here. Trout said especially at this point, every dollar counts.

Trout said the park is in the final stages of securing $1.5 million from FEMA to secure the submarine.

The sub sits 12 feet uphill, in a decent resting spot. However, it will take 2,000 semi loads worth of dirt ($300,000) to secure, along with a new system to keep it in place.

SEE MORE: USS Batfish, a year later

"We want to put new piers in so in the event of a flood, we can loosen the lines so it will float, and then as the flood recedes tighten it back down, so we don’t ever have to deal with this again,” Trout explained.

The sub weighs 2,000 tons, and is now kept in place by lines secured to cleats and trees on the uphill side.

The money to put it back in place could be available within the next couple months, and Trout is cautiously optimistic about reopening in 2020.

"We’re looking at late August, early September opening, I’m hoping," Trout said. "I miss everyone in Oklahoma and across the country coming here and visiting.”

The donations are still coming in, despite the hard economic times.

“If you can’t donate, don’t worry about it," Trout said. "Spread the word though, just keep us in your hearts.”

On Monday, the park received a generous $600 donation collected by St. Joseph students. The students have taken several trips to see the local icon, and made it their mission to raise money for its restoration.

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