WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. – Officials say they have finally removed two barges from the Webbers Falls dam months after they caused concern during a major flooding event.
In May, emergency management officials in eastern Oklahoma asked residents to completely evacuate the town due to dangers associated with flooding.
“Residents in the Town of Webbers Falls need to evacuate immediately. This is a life threatening situation. If you choose to stay you are doing so at your own risk,” officials wrote on Facebook.
The situation became even worse when authorities learned that the flooding caused two barges on the Arkansas River to become unsecured. Officials became worried that the barges would hit the dam, which was already under strain from the floodwaters.
The two barges struck the dam, which caused one of the barges to immediately sink. The force of the rushing watch caused the second barge to give way and sink as well.
Last month, officials told KJRH that the gate was leaking water at 55,000 cubic feet per second, but the water level was too high for them to fix the problem. Crews were able to lower the water level so they could begin the process of removing the barges.
Now, officials say both barges have been removed.