Firefighters Evacuate Dozens Of Residents At Twin Lakes
OKLAHOMA CITY - Two homes fell into the Cimarron River in the Twin Lakes community early Monday morning after rushing water swept through.
Firefighters evacuated dozens of residents. But with more rain on the way, even more homes are threatened.
In a matter of minutes, Mindy King's home in Twin Lakes dropped into the Cimarron River and floated away. The nearly 20-foot deep water engulfed it.
"When I got here at 6 a.m., most of it had fallen in and there was one wall left, but it is completely gone now," said King, who grew up in the Twin Lakes community.
King made many memories with her two young daughters in the small home they called the “shack,” but she knew the river threat was high, so she packed up and moved out a month ago but wasn't able to get all her stuff out before it sunk.
“There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears I put into the home. There's a lot I wish I had gotten,” King said.
Another abandoned home was swept away, so firefighters evacuated about 35 families with homes were close to the river bank. Twin Lakes has 125 full-time families and about 50 weekend families that were all present for the Holiday.
"Our main worry is not the two houses that have fallen in, they were expected to go in at some point. It's that the river may possibly come into our lakes and will flood the whole eastside of our property," said Twin Lakes Fire Chief Mike Gilliam.
“You give 5 or 6 feet pieces falling in the bank and it's very dangerous.”
Many evacuees were allowed to come back into their homes but were told be on guard as huge chunks of land and trees kept falling.
The area has suffered from river erosion years before, and residents say because it's private property, it's hard to get federal dollars to assist.
So the Twin Lakes Fire Department is on the lookout around the clock. The group if about a dozen volunteers roped off unsafe areas and hope the river will slow down so that no one else lose a home like Mindy.
"I'm very thankful that God put the opportunity for me to buy my friend's house in the nick of the time, where I can still stay in this community that I love,” King.
The Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees earlier, but it has since closed as many people in the community say they have a place to stay.