Several areas of Okmulgee County are still underwater after the region recorded more rainfall over the weekend. The new precipitation affected vacation travel and even the big July 4th fireworks show.
The July 4 plans of Okmulgee County resident Danny Wallace went up in smoke Sunday night after the city postponed the fireworks display at Okmulgee City Park due to flooding.
“It’s disappointing,” Wallace said. “When I went out there I didn’t hear any fireworks going off and my sister told me they had been canceled and we found out it was because of the flooding.”
“We were really excited to watch the fireworks and it was a bit disappointing whenever we weren’t able to do it because we weren’t buying any fireworks. Because we wanted to watch the fireworks here in the park, ”added Elizabeth Barnett, Okmulgee resident.
County officials said the water in the park was two feet deep in some areas. You can now see football goals and park benches underwater. Officials said this was only part of the damage.
“We just can’t take a break,” said Okmulgee County Emergency Management Director Tim Craighton.
Craighton said several roads in the county were either flooded or damaged – such as Sharp Road – which collapsed and are now impassable.
The damage, according to Craighton, is due to any additional water from the surrounding areas flowing into the Deep Fork River of nearby Okmulgee.
“Most of the water we have now comes from the rains of Oklahoma City, Creek County, Lincoln County and all that – and it eventually got into Okmulgee County and brought out the river from its banks, ”Craighton explained. “We just don’t do it. Take breaks here, but it’s okay. It’s kind of the norm here.”
Craighton said the damage would take days, if not weeks, to repair. He urges people to take alternative routes, if possible, and not to move road signs.