OKLAHOMA CITY – Flash flooding across the Oklahoma City area stranded motorists on their morning commutes Monday, prompting at least a half-dozen rescues and at least three interstate closures, authorities said.
|Flooding Across Oklahoma City|
Portions of interstates 35, 44 and 235 were closed, as were numerous smaller thoroughfares in and out of the metro area.
Parts of northwest Oklahoma County have received more than 10 inches of rain since 3 a.m.
Arcadia Lake is closed. The lake has now risen 10'4" and is expected to continue to rise at a rapid rate. The Corp of Engineers is watching it closely and will take any necessary action. Edmond and Spring Creek parks are now closed. No new campers are being allowed in, but campers at Scissortail and Central State Park have been moved to higher ground.
|Monday Flood Photos|
Edmond police are asking people who are stranded in cars to roll down their windows and wave to responding emergency units. Emergency crews are having trouble differentiating from occupied and unoccupied cars.
At about 12:11 the Oklahoma City Sheriff's Department said several people were being rescued who are trapped at the N.W. 172 and Valley housing addition.
Firefighters are responding to motorists stuck in high water throughout the city, and lightning is causing electricity outages.
The fast-moving water overtook at least a dozen drivers trying to make it down Pennsylvania Avenue this morning. The Monday morning commute through one of the busiest areas of town quickly became a dangerous situation for drivers.
All the tributaries of Mustang Creek filled up in a hurry and flowed over S.W. 59th Street this morning. By noon the waters had gone down, but earlier it was a deluge.
"This is the absolute worst that we have ever seen," said Mustang resident Mary Dougherty. "It has flooded tremendously, but this is the absolute worst it has ever been."
It didn't take long for the stream to get out of its banks. So, Mustang residents will be watching the skies for the next round of rain. That includes Johnny Robeaux. The water crept awfully close to his back door this morning. Robeaux says sandbags kept the water out this time.
|Flooding in Oklahoma City|
Some Ski Island neighborhoods evacuated as the waters started to rise. Ski Island has seen its share of high waters and flooding problems over the years, but many residents say they've never seen anything worse than today's storm.
A mandatory evacuation was cancelled after the rains let up, and residents like Thad Harris came home to find a few inches of water in various parts of the house. Many were shocked that it happened so fast.
"Yes, in at least 25 years," said resident Brian Vanlandingham. "You used to be able to drive through here, as you can see it's taken a couple of boats and everything out of here."
The following is a list of roads closed due to flooding as of 9 p.m. Note that water has been receding so status of roads is continually changing:
-US-62 between Sooner Rd. and Air Depot Blvd.
-US-62 between Henny Rd. and Choctaw Rd.
-SH-66 between Westminster Blvd. and Anderson Rd.
-Westbound I-40 on-ramp from Council Rd.
-NW 164th from N Countyline to N MacArthur
-N Rockwell from NW 178th to NW 192nd
-NW 206th from N MacArthur to N May
-NW 220th from N Meridian to N May
-N Meridian from NW 164th to NW 206th
-NW 192nd from N Meridian to N Portland
-NW 178th from N MacArthur to N Portland
-N May from NW 220th to NW 206th
-N Pennsylvania from NW 206th to NW 192nd
-N Western from NW 248th to NW 234th
-NW 248th from N Western to N Santa Fe
-NW 234th from N Western to N Santa Fe
Kay County: US-177 between SH-11 and Braman
Lincoln County: US-177 north of SH-66 at Deep Fork Creek near Wellston
Oklahoma County: SH-66 between Westminster Blvd. and Luther Rd. in Lincoln Co, Westbound I-40 on-ramp from Council Rd.
Garfield County: US-81 closed from Wheat Capital Rd to Skeleton Rd due to several downed powerlines
Tulsa County: SH-20 at Bird Creek east of Skiatook
Partial road closings in Edmond:
-Danforth and Douglas
-Western between Danforth and Covell
-Paddock Lane west of Oakwood
-Santa Fe & Coffee Creek intersection is closed to north and southbound traffic due to the embankment on the west side just north of the intersection being washed away. East and westbound traffic is open.
Complete road closures in Edmond, Arcadia Lake area:
-9th Street between University and Rankin
-Sorghum Mill between Santa Fe and Western
-Highway 66 east of Post Road
In addition to road closures, the Public Works department has indicated a ten inch sewer line in the Fairfax addition has been washed out and crews are working on the repair. There is also a water main break near the UCO tower at Ayers and Bauman.
The threat of severe thunderstorms, with an unusually high risk of significant flooding continues through Tuesday morning.
Tornadoes struck parts of the Oklahoma panhandle Sunday afternoon, including several tornadoes in Beaver County. Storm trackers Marty Logan and Val Castor followed the severe weather in the northwestern part of the state and captured video of the tornadoes that touched down Sunday.
Those who live in flood prone areas should remain weather aware during this time period.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Send us your weather photos at firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be used on air or in a slideshow.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
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