Heavy rain storms take toll on Canadian County

Washed out roads, stranded motorists, burning oil storage tanks and collapsed mobile homes were all part of the story Wednesday after storms dumped more than four inches of rainfall on the area.

Fire and rescue crews spent much of Wednesday trying to help motorists who drove into floodwaters.

At least three people had to be rescued by the Oklahoma City Fire Department early Wednesday, a Banner school bus carrying students became stranded after it attempted to turn around before driving into flood waters, and a pickup was submerged window-deep on Banner Road.

No one was injured in any of the incidents, but crews remained busy throughout the day.

And the waters continued to rise throughout the day.

The National Weather Service even issued flash-flood warnings for Canadian County that were in effect through late Thursday, when waterways, including the North Canadian River, were expected to finally crest.

Capt. Jimmy White, with the Yukon Fire Department, said his crews were dispatched to three locations for rescue efforts, but only made it to one.

The others were handled by other fire departments.

A driver on Banner Road became stranded about 50 yards from his home when he drove into water.

His pickup apparently floated about 100 yards into the water and was covered almost to its windows with water after Purcell Creek came out of its banks.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Fire Department rescued three motorists in Canadian County.

They included a woman whose car was partially submerged west of the intersection SW 29 and Cimarron Road, said Capt. David Macy.

Both the Oklahoa City and Union City fire departments responded to the call.

Macy said Union City rescue workers back a five-ton truck close to the car and the driver was able to jump from the hood of her car to the truck.

In addition, crews rescued two people whose vehicles became stranded west of the intersection of Sara Road and SW 29, Macy said.

Also Wednesday, a section of NW 164 near Reformatory Road was washed out causing a semi-truck pulling a tanker to crash.

Andrew Skidmore, the county’s director of emergency management, said the damage throughout the county is significant. The total cost of the damage may not be known for several days, however.

Skidmore said his personal rain gauge indicated more than four inches of rain fell between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Several creeks and rivers were well above the flood stage. None were expected to crest before Thursday evening.

Also Wednesday, lightning is being blamed for a fire at an oil storage unit near Piedmont.

The fire was reported near Morgan and Arrowhead roads.

The fire was extinguished quickly, fire officials said.

In another incident, the heavy rain caused a roof to collapse on a trailer house at 400 S. Ranchwood.

A 70-year-old woman and her son were unable to open the door to the trailer and called the Yukon Fire Department for assistance.

White, who is a Yukon battalion chief, said crews were dispatched at about 4:30 a.m., and were able to free the woman and help her to a vehicle.

“The roof collapsed due to the weight of the water. The home is pretty much inhabitable,” White said.

Gov. Kevin Still has included Canadian County in a state of emergency declaration, which will allow officials to track their costs for repairs and seek reimbursement.

Heavy rains have washed numerous Canadian County roads making it tough for drivers to navigate. Photo/Terry Groover

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