WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. – The Tulsa District of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ salvage crew was able to extract one of the two barges that crashed into the Webbers Falls dam back in May.
The two barges broke free along the Arkansas River after historic flooding across Oklahoma in May.
“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.
Officials became worried that the barges would hit the dam, which was already under strain from the flood waters.
Initially, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Facebook that the barges were located several miles upstream from Webbers Falls Lock and Dam 16. They were still tied together and were stuck on a rock jetty.
However, the barges somehow broke loose from the rocks as crews tried to secure them.
The force of the rushing watch caused the second barge to give way and sink as well.
Fortunately, it looks as though the integrity of the dam is still intact.
We’re told the barges were carrying fertilizer.