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Muskogee Co. residents in low-lying areas encouraged to evacuate as Arkansas River reaches near-record flood stage

Posted: 1:49 PM, May 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-25 15:15:59-04
Muskogee County flooding

MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Okla — Muskogee County officials strongly recommend any residents in low-lying areas of the county near the Arkansas River evacuate as the Arkansas River near the City of Muskogee is approaching its record crest set over 75 years ago. In addition, the county continues to experience road closures and other flood effects.

As of Saturday at 11 a.m., the river level was at 45.86 feet, well above the 34-foot major flood stage. The National Weather Service in Tulsa does not forecast it to exceed the record 48.3-foot set in 1943 at this time, “However, if Mother Nature keeps pounding us with rain, that may change,” states a tweet from the NWS.

Evacuation is strongly recommended for residents in any low-lowing areas along the river in Muskogee County, according to the county’s emergency management officials.

Emergency officials wanted the public to be aware that there is an increased water level around the Lock and Dam 16 and the Arkansas River Basin.

Muskogee County EMS is fully staffed and has pre-positioned trucks in preparation for and medical emergencies near affected areas. Rescue boats and personnel are also on standby should they be needed.

The latest situation report from the Muskogee County Emergency Operations Center states that the following highways remain closed in areas near the Arkansas River in Muskogee County:

Southbound lanes of Highway 69
Highway 10
Highway 64
Highway 62
Highway 104
Highway 72
Hwy 100 closed between Webbers Falls and Gore is now closed due to water across Hwy
Outside east bound lanes of Muskogee Turnpike closed south of Shawnee/HWY 62
Additionally, numerous county roads are closed in areas along and near the Arkansas River.

Due to the emergency declaration, the Muskogee Turkpike, from the entrance at Highway 69 to SH 165 is drivable at no charge for those who wish to use it, according to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

A Muskogee County Sheriff’s deputy and an ambulance crew have been assigned to the Town of Braggs, as there is currently no way in or out of the town, EOC officials stated. Cherokee County and Muskogee County commissioners are working on making access to Braggs through Camp Gruber.

The barges on the Grand River are being secured at this time, according to the EOC.

Shelters remain open in Muskogee at the following locations:

Bacone College, 2299 Old Bacone Rd, Muskogee

In Warner, Church on the Word, 1511 Culwell Road;

In Woodall, Crescent Valley Baptist Church, 25641 South Crescent Valley Road.

Updates will continue to be posted to Muskogee County and City Emergency Management Facebook pages.

Anyone with questions can call 918-683-0223.