Downpours Flood Roads Across Metro, Norman Police Warn Drivers

Friday, July 26th 2013, 8:23 am
By: News 9

A late-July thunderstorm dumped more than two inches of rain in parts of the Oklahoma City metro in just over an hour, and led to flash flood warnings and high water in city streets.

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The rain flooded many streets, especially on the southwest side of the city, and in Chickasha, Moore and Norman. The flooding was so bad in Norman Friday morning that police warned people not to drive in the city unless they absolutely had to. They issued this release:

The Norman Police Department would like to encourage all citizens to exercise extreme caution while traveling the streets of Norman today. The heavy amount of overnight rainfall has caused a significant amount of flooding throughout Norman. A number of intersections and roadways are currently closed and impassable. For your safety, we urge you to obey all signs and barricades and please do not drive around them. If at all possible, we would like to recommend that citizens simply avoid the roadways and flooded areas until the rain subsides and the roadways are opened back up for safe travel.

Oklahoma City Fire Chief Brian Stanaland said his crews performed seven water rescues on the southwest side. He also said at least one house fire in southwest Oklahoma City may have been caused by lightning.

On the northwest side near N.W. 10th Street and Penn, five vehicles became trapped in high water.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in any of those incidents.

There were also dozens of reports of cars hydroplaning across the city, along with fender-benders due to wet, slick roads

Around 4 a.m., a car cut off a semi on westbound Interstate 44 near Penn. The truck driver lost control and the 18-wheeler rolled over. The cab of the truck caught fire and sparked several small explosions. The two people inside the cab safely escaped.

Traffic on westbound I-44 is down to one lane while crews try to unload the cargo from that trailer and clear away the wreckage.