Man 'Swims For Life' After Sayre Levee Break
BECKHAM COUNTY, Oklahoma - A levee break in Beckham County sent water rushing into nearby homes and destroyed portions of the Sayre city park.
It happened early Tuesday morning at Sand Creek. Residents and first responders were caught off guard.
"The miniature golf course is probably totally destroyed, along with some playground equipment," said Lonnie Risenhoover, Director of the Beckham County Emergency Management Office. "There is a lot of road damage."
The city pool, Risenhoover says, also likely suffered damage following the levee break.
Water lines can be seen on nearby power polls showing the high water level.
A stop sign at Sayre RV & Park was washed away and buried underneath a road.
"That barrier was placed to divert water from the 1924 flood," said Risenhoover. "It has washed out before, but it basically broke the retaining wall barrier in the middle."
High waters stranded nearby cattle. Crews had the animals fenced in on Route 66, waiting to be hauled away by owners.
Don Miller jumped into action when he looked outside and saw a log floating by his mobile home. He swam to safety with his dog, kids and girlfriend.
"I just come back and started pulling them out of here one at time," said Miller. "The neighbors were having trouble getting out too. He made it across the water and the truck died on him."
Miller believes his wallet was swept away in the rushing waters. He's just happy to be alive.
"I was kind of scared," said Miller. "I don't get scared much, but it scared me."
Water levels receded significantly by Tuesday afternoon.
Beckham County Emergency Management officials will tour the county Friday to survey damage.