Search Continues For People Swept Away In Floodwaters
OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Medical Examiner now says 13 people died from Friday's storms. The new number takes into account some of those who died in raging floodwaters, but not the eight now feared dead after their bodies were not found this weekend in local waterways.
Those people were from two groups who took shelter from Friday's tornadoes, the first near NW 26th St. and Meridian; the second group occurred near the Dell Plant in southwest Oklahoma City.
Firefighters, dive teams and helicopters ended their search Sunday night, but it resumed Monday morning around 7 a.m. They've been searching along Deep Fork River since early Saturday morning once they got word several people, including children, were missing.
"We've been working that area with our crews on the embankments and on the side of the river the Oklahoma River that runs alongside downtown Oklahoma City," said Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard.
But the area is difficult to search because big tree limbs and debris cover the river.
"This is very rough terrain. It's hard to get down there and even see it. This creek probably drops off 50 to 60 foot maybe more in certain areas, and we're just having to walk it. I mean we're taking our crews and we're walking it," Woodard said.
"Might be a long extended incident but we will be here until we make sure everyone's accounted for and we've confirmed everything."
Crowds of friends and relatives of the missing people lined Interstate 44, hiking down to the river to conduct their own search.
"Since we are from the same state, we kind of want to help them you know with whatever they need, and I hope we find the other bodies," said family friend, Byron Morales.