Flooding Keeps Deer Creek Firefighters From Responding To Emergencies

Tuesday, November 8th 2011, 6:55 pm
By: News 9

One area seeing flooding on Tuesday is Deer Creek, where schools were canceled because the buses couldn't get through.

11/8/2011 Related Story: Flooding Closes Deer Creek Public Schools Tuesday

That's not the only problem either. Firefighters said the flooding keeps them from getting to emergencies. Response time slows when it floods.

Here's the problem. Portland divides the district; most of the Deer Creek volunteer firefighters live on the east side and can't travel west to get to the fire department.

The roads are clear now, but parts of Deer Creek still look like a mini-lake. Two cars were pulled out of rushing waters early Tuesday morning.

11/8/2011 Related Story: Drivers Rescued From Flooded Oklahoma City Street

"Everywhere there is a blue mark is where we had water crossing the road this morning," Chief Cory Beagles said.

Deer Creek fire chief Cory Beagles knows not all his volunteer firefighters will make it in when it floods. And if they do, it's full of obstacles.

"One of our guys that lives in this neighborhood actually had to go all the way down to 206 across. Back up Portland to 234, over to meridian, and back to the station," Beagles said.

That can be a big problem during emergencies.

"It's a delayed response to our station, and once they get here, it's a delayed response to where ever they are going," Beagles said.

The fire chief said the piece of land on Penn between Coffee Creek Road and Sorgum Mill Road is part of the solution to their problem.

Chief Beagles is working with Deer Creek schools to lease the land to build a new station.

"That way we can have staffing and apparatus on the east side of the district," Beagles said.

Plans are also underway to build living quarters in the current station so firefighters can stay overnight when storms strike.

"That way we'll actually have beds, and we won't have to just sleep on recliners when the weather gets bad," Beagles said.

When that happens, a crew will be at the station 24 hours, seven days a week.

The Deer Creek Fire Department has 22 volunteer firefighters. The department will recruit six volunteers to man the new station.