TULSA, Okla. – Heavy rain continues to pound Oklahoma, pushing lakes, rivers, and streams well beyond their banks in some areas.
Tulsa and the surrounding areas have been hit hardest.
The city’s mayor, G.T. Bynum, delivered a message to those in the water’s path.
“We ask that you remain vigilant, especially as the water continues to rise overnight,” Mayor Bynum said during a joint press conference with Governor Kevin Stitt.
The City of Tulsa is also publishing an interactive map that shows where flood waters are projected to rise.
“We have our emergency personnel, they have gone out and put stakes around between rivers and those neighborhoods that are expected to be impacted,” Bynum said.
If the water rises within two feet of the stakes, authorities say they’ll put in place a mandatory evacuation order.
Those precautions are being taken proactively, but for many in Northeastern Oklahoma, the damage has already been done.
“We`re not going to know the full impact of this until probably next week until the water starts receding a little bit more,” Governor Stitt said alongside Mayor Bynum. “But right now, we`re projecting over a thousand homes have already been damaged from flooding.”
It’s not just humans who are affected.
The Humane Society of Tulsa is evacuating sheltered animals to Virginia, all to make room for other animals displaced by the flooding.
As the animals prepare to travel, Governor Stitt has a message for Oklahomans headed out of town as the holiday weekend gets underway.
“This Memorial Day Weekend, we`re discouraging some travel and just want us to be very, very careful traveling in flood-impacted areas of our state,” Governor Stitt said.
I-40 has been opened in all areas previously closed due to flooding, but state officials say between 35 to 40 roads remain closed.
More roads are likely to close in the coming days as waters rise.