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Flash floods, severe weather wreak havoc on drivers in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY - As severe weather moved through the state, flash floods caused several drivers to become stranded on Oklahoma roadways.

Officials said at least 12 cars were stranded on Tuesday night along the area of N.W. 10th and Pennsylvania.

News 4 spoke with one man who said the flooding stalled his car in traffic.

"It was pretty deep. It was up to the door," said Aubrey Smith. "Opened the door, seen the water was up to the door and basically just had to wait it out."

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson with the Oklahoma City Fire Department said calls for service were nonstop between 7 and 9 p.m.

Firefighters rescued at least four people out of their cars after being stranded in high water.

"You could actually kind of see the storm moving across your city by where our calls were," Fulkerson said. "We started getting lightning calls way up in the north end of our city, and that’s where our flooding was kind of happening at that time."

One frantic call in particular came from a man who could not swim.

"The caller had called 911, had stated that he was in water in his car, and that it was starting to fill up and he was pretty apprehensive about that because he does not know how to swim," Fulkerson said.

While stranded cars are one risk of driving into high water, Fulkerson said manhole covers are another.

Tuesday's storm washed away one manhole cover near Broadway Extension and 23rd St. For that reason, officials said it's imperative for motorists to not drive through areas with high water and live by the warning 'turn around, don't drown'.

"Just imagine if your front tire drops off in that. It’s probably going to damage your car to start with," he said. "But, in addition to that, now your front end of your car is another foot to two feet lower, so your car will take on [water] much quicker."

As a result of Tuesday's storm, Fulkerson said three house fires were confirmed as a result of lightning strikes with a possible fourth near Mustang.

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