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Flooding damages homes, forces water rescues in Canadian County

Flooding in Canadian County temporarily shut down a stretch of Interstate 40, damaged homes and kept firefighters busy with water rescues Tuesday morning.

Calls from people stranded in swift water started about 2 a.m. Tuesday as heavy rain fell, El Reno Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Strahorn said.

“People were getting out, I think they were checking what was going on,” Strahorn said. “They didn’t realize that the water was deep, very deep in some places.”

The North Canadian River and creeks that surround El Reno started to flood low-lying areas, and people woke to flooded homes. El Reno and parts of Canadian County had more than three inches of rain from midnight Monday to noon Tuesday, the Oklahoma Mesonet website reported.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday, El Reno firefighters, with help from nearby communities, had rescued 23 people and two pets from high water.

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday took an aerial tour of storm damage in El Reno, Kingfisher and Mangum in a Black Hawk helicopter.

"Really, it's just widespread damage across our entire state," he said afterward. "We're grateful that not one life was lost. We had about 11 injuries."

Stitt will check out more storm damage on the eastern part of the state Wednesday. In talking to reporters, he encouraged Oklahomans to be prepared for more severe weather in the coming days.

"The frightening part is we've got more rain and more storms on the forecast for tomorrow and possibly for Thursday," Stitt said.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reported Tuesday night that the State Emergency Operations Center was responding to requests for industrial-sized generators, sandbags and swift water rescue teams.

About 190 personnel were evacuated Tuesday from an oilfield camp at the Lake El Reno Trailer Park, according to the Department of Emergency Management. In Osage County, more than 100 people visited a shelter Monday night due to high water. Emergency management officials in Stillwater and Washington County also reported water rescues.

In Canadian County, a stretch of Interstate 40 was closed temporarily due to high water during the morning hours. A number of other roads in the county were closed or washed out Tuesday due to flooding.

Jacob Evans and his family were rescued from their home along Six Mile Creek east of Radio Road.

"(Water) started coming into the house a little bit," Evans said. "About 30 minutes later it came up 8 feet in the house. Everything that is on the ground is pretty much, pretty ruined."

They planned to stay with relatives after salvaging belongings on their property.

The number of homes damaged by flooding in El Reno had not been totaled by afternoon Tuesday.

"There are so many we are still counting," said Canadian County Emergency Management Director Andrew Skidmore.

A floodplain covers parts of northwest El Reno, north of State Highway 66 and east of U.S. 81, where several creeks that flow into the North Canadian River flood frequently, Skidmore said. Heavy rains made the situation much worse overnight.

"Since 8 p.m. Monday, we probably got around 6 inches overnight," Skidmore said.

Areas around Lake El Reno and east of town were still of concern Tuesday afternoon as waters were expected to continue to rise, said Alli Hernandez, public information officer for the city. She encouraged people to be mindful of their surroundings.

"A lot of water has gone down … but there are still many areas that have significant flooding," she said Tuesday afternoon.

A shelter manned by the Red Cross opened at the Jenks Annex building, 214 N Country Club in El Reno, for people affected by flooding. As of 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, 22 people had used the shelter, Hernandez said. She said the shelter would remain open overnight and officials would determine Wednesday how long the shelter was needed.

Other communities also experienced flooding or damage from Monday's storms, including damage at the fairgrounds and airport in Greer County and downed power lines and roof damage to homes in Noble County, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

Deer Creek firefighters responded to five water-related incidents, including four water rescues, Tuesday, said Michael Montgomery, chief of emergency medical services and special operations with the Deer Creek Fire Protection District. The rescues included a situation in which a motorist got caught in water near NW 178 Street and North Council Road and good Samaritans who tried to help the woman also got caught, Montgomery said.

Firefighters had some difficulty accessing the area because of flooding, Montgomery said.

"I don't recall us ever having the flooding that we've had now," he said. "The majority of our district, the roadways anyway, were flooded and impassable."

As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oklahoma City firefighters had responded to 22 water assist or water rescue calls since midnight, but only one incident required the department's swift water rescue team, officials reported. No injuries were reported.

Related Photos
<strong>Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on a flooded street Tuesday after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on a flooded street Tuesday after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e5168ed039a60237d40a8592225d7534.jpg" alt="Photo - Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on a flooded street Tuesday after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on a flooded street Tuesday after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on a flooded street Tuesday after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-82e952f844b4a2835f320c286093b01f.jpg" alt="Photo - Jose Menjibar checks the flood damage to his property Tuesday as he walks through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Jose Menjibar checks the flood damage to his property Tuesday as he walks through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Jose Menjibar checks the flood damage to his property Tuesday as he walks through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dbf175477160a1cc498845c2e1de0c09.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwaters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno on Tuesday after heavy rains flooded the area. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" Floodwaters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno on Tuesday after heavy rains flooded the area. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Floodwaters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno on Tuesday after heavy rains flooded the area. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6c3b6dcf8fc0fcd11c531e94512bb7c2.jpg" alt="Photo - Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)" title="Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)"><figcaption>Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7c9a10741ef213727148c42a70f585b9.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a85f96635dcde4408118acfb17e6a5c1.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4ffa0a72000b4676e3e5aad34d6f450f.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9462ef2359355843935a9753bdd027a8.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7fdfcb6ff7c6abd7a493a9ce16682dd1.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a7856ce1effd4b9bbedccfe02ad6c5bb.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-30fa36ef32f886d6ed56a905e4cfc8f4.jpg" alt="Photo - Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris" title="Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris"><figcaption>Drone image of flooding along Route 66, looking west towards El Reno and north from Route 66. Image by Dave Morris</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8a3c3b34a885f57b9e8f6e22fe81fcd0.jpg" alt="Photo - Flood waters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Flood waters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Flood waters surround the Bulk Water Plant in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1ddfeb2e89e58ba6d88612400c20f48d.jpg" alt="Photo - A flooded portion of Route 66 in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A flooded portion of Route 66 in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A flooded portion of Route 66 in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e0200d9503c41381be5966683b7bea4b.jpg" alt="Photo - A home is surrounded by flood waters after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A home is surrounded by flood waters after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A home is surrounded by flood waters after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-980146fb5b30a7a6da06ebf5966267ad.jpg" alt="Photo - Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on the flooded street after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on the flooded street after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Allik Reed pulls his brother Skyler through the water on the flooded street after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dcebcdb34bad108253ef085877433449.jpg" alt="Photo - Jose Menjibar check the flood damage to his property as he walk through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Jose Menjibar check the flood damage to his property as he walk through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Jose Menjibar check the flood damage to his property as he walk through the water after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-833641ee3f10960ad7c06afe4d532d6b.jpg" alt="Photo - A car is stranded in flood waters on Banner Rd. in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A car is stranded in flood waters on Banner Rd. in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A car is stranded in flood waters on Banner Rd. in El Reno, Okla. after heavy rains flooded the area on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9d86e8405a786a9dcb72f8e245266961.jpg" alt="Photo - A truck is stranded in flood waters on Radio Rd. near Elm St. after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="A truck is stranded in flood waters on Radio Rd. near Elm St. after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A truck is stranded in flood waters on Radio Rd. near Elm St. after heavy rains flooded areas in El Reno, Okla. on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e68f1c0a6c686268a77a00d23f1a6eb3.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwaters carry hay bales over over NW 178 just west of portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Floodwaters carry hay bales over over NW 178 just west of portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Floodwaters carry hay bales over over NW 178 just west of portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d984163884f462552ea6e61bedf981f6.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwaters rush over NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Floodwaters rush over NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Floodwaters rush over NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b3316ad733ce74c6a1f20a9a005e1108.jpg" alt="Photo - A vehicle leaves a driveway on NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A vehicle leaves a driveway on NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A vehicle leaves a driveway on NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ae47d1f2407c4003b5cdb6921329458f.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwaters carry a road sign off the road on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Floodwaters carry a road sign off the road on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Floodwaters carry a road sign off the road on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6a330cf163e35afd2f68b220b92369b2.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwater flows over NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Floodwater flows over NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Floodwater flows over NW 178 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c2f941aca5fe49717eee3745b8343005.jpg" alt="Photo - Water flows over Meridian just north of NW 206 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Water flows over Meridian just north of NW 206 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Water flows over Meridian just north of NW 206 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aa666b1095f46d019ad727d949175dc0.jpg" alt="Photo - A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-52bafd6459ce27b982f1088992615e87.jpg" alt="Photo - A truck stops in front of floodwater on NW 192 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A truck stops in front of floodwater on NW 192 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A truck stops in front of floodwater on NW 192 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c48a613ad63c77e4b19afb24f1a8ef31.jpg" alt="Photo - A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A vehicle is stranded in floodwaters on NW 206 just west of Portland in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ce7d99546f169d83d882aabada238e77.jpg" alt="Photo - Horses are tied to trees near a home surrounded by floodwaters on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Horses are tied to trees near a home surrounded by floodwaters on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Horses are tied to trees near a home surrounded by floodwaters on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f62d972578b313ebd22b394b37d01989.jpg" alt="Photo - Floodwaters surround a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Floodwaters surround a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Floodwaters surround a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d4c540916f5889f910f20c1e678ad3df.jpg" alt="Photo - A man walks through floodwaters by a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A man walks through floodwaters by a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A man walks through floodwaters by a home on Council just north of NW 164 in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d4b15676657ca7e71e8019d5bf680313.jpg" alt="Photo - Traffic turns around as flood water covers 13th street in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)" title="Traffic turns around as flood water covers 13th street in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)"><figcaption>Traffic turns around as flood water covers 13th street in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0cc0c6c9e23527b003b9a7534f9d876c.jpg" alt="Photo - Uncle John Creek is overflowing it's banks in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)" title="Uncle John Creek is overflowing it's banks in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)"><figcaption>Uncle John Creek is overflowing it's banks in Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday May 21, 2019. (Billy Hefton/Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6a9681cba8335647e77545719b536237.jpg" alt="Photo - Traffic drives through flood water across U.S. 81 in downtown Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019 prior to law enforcement diverting traffic. (Billy Hefton / Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)" title="Traffic drives through flood water across U.S. 81 in downtown Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019 prior to law enforcement diverting traffic. (Billy Hefton / Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)"><figcaption>Traffic drives through flood water across U.S. 81 in downtown Kingfisher, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019 prior to law enforcement diverting traffic. (Billy Hefton / Enid News &amp; Eagle via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-637ded0937085c81840dd2aa1d0489dc.jpg" alt="Photo - Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Okla. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Okla. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Okla. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4cdf28cbbc321912cf7e4c4bfe26f471.jpg" alt="Photo - Kayden Evans, left, 6, and Keely Younger, 6, play in the water on a flooded street in El Reno, Okla., following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)" title="Kayden Evans, left, 6, and Keely Younger, 6, play in the water on a flooded street in El Reno, Okla., following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)"><figcaption>Kayden Evans, left, 6, and Keely Younger, 6, play in the water on a flooded street in El Reno, Okla., following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e2cd377eee17faa48e7a41cb5d122b33.jpg" alt="Photo - Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Ok. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Ok. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Karen Spencer is helped to her storm cellar by her daughter Tammi Foster in Peggs, Ok. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Spencer's home was hit by an apparent tornado on Monday night. She and her husband Ed didn't have time to make it to the cellar on Monday and rode the storm out in their home. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-89df52226783ca8fe42c1a60ee2bc0a5.jpg" alt="Photo - A RV has a board through the front windshield after storms did damage near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla.,on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="A RV has a board through the front windshield after storms did damage near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla.,on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>A RV has a board through the front windshield after storms did damage near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla.,on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c4376a08bc7fdb1b43483e7dea591b3e.jpg" alt="Photo - A crew puts a tarp on a home after storm damaged it near Newton and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="A crew puts a tarp on a home after storm damaged it near Newton and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>A crew puts a tarp on a home after storm damaged it near Newton and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6c3b6dcf8fc0fcd11c531e94512bb7c2.jpg" alt="Photo - Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)" title="Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)"><figcaption>Emergency crews evacuate people from a high water area following heavy rains Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in El Reno, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b370fb42b254a218db3e53b29602240b.jpg" alt="Photo - A large tree rests inside a home where a man was rescued near Newton and St. Louis Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="A large tree rests inside a home where a man was rescued near Newton and St. Louis Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>A large tree rests inside a home where a man was rescued near Newton and St. Louis Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7cade94124443d7d860df71422d02b6d.jpg" alt="Photo - Carmen Perez surveys storm damage of her home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Carmen Perez surveys storm damage of her home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Carmen Perez surveys storm damage of her home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a99928655fda7db94a957b53696b8e08.jpg" alt="Photo - A car is stranded in high water after rain flooded the street after storms near 43rd and S. Sheridan in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="A car is stranded in high water after rain flooded the street after storms near 43rd and S. Sheridan in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>A car is stranded in high water after rain flooded the street after storms near 43rd and S. Sheridan in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7ad0407395103f29b47bae0f1401d7c1.jpg" alt="Photo - Michelle Underwood searches through the wreckage of a feed store in Peggs, Okla., where she stored most of her belongings Tuesday, May 21, 2019. An apparent tornado hit the area Monday night. (Mike Simos/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Michelle Underwood searches through the wreckage of a feed store in Peggs, Okla., where she stored most of her belongings Tuesday, May 21, 2019. An apparent tornado hit the area Monday night. (Mike Simos/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Michelle Underwood searches through the wreckage of a feed store in Peggs, Okla., where she stored most of her belongings Tuesday, May 21, 2019. An apparent tornado hit the area Monday night. (Mike Simos/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ba84cac9a9c40a36daea5baecdbe1876.jpg" alt="Photo - Carmen Perez and Jorge Torres survey storm damage of their home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Carmen Perez and Jorge Torres survey storm damage of their home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Carmen Perez and Jorge Torres survey storm damage of their home near Marshall and North Rockford in Tulsa on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Their front door was blocked by a tree and they had to get out of their home through a front window. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure>
Robert Medley

Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma... Read more ›

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