Parts of Oklahoma Under State of Emergency

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fifty-nine counties in Oklahoma are in a state of emergency after flash floods dropped 10 inches of rain in just a few hours on Monday.

The Associated Press reports that one man was killed in Lawton Monday night, after his car became stuck and he attempted to push the vehicle out of oncoming water.

In an separate incident, a 17-year-old girl just escaped swift floodwaters - and the firefighters sent out to help her were forced to cling to treetops and await rescue themselves. But officials in Oklahoma said the situation could have been much worse.

"We were lucky to get the people out of the high-water areas," Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief Tommy Iago told the AP. "The places we couldn't walk them out, we used boats."

Fire officials in Oklahoma City and the nearby suburb of Edmond launched more than 60 swift-water rescues. However, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said no one had to be hospitalized.

The heaviest rainfall was reported across sections of northern Oklahoma City, forcing the closure of some roads and interstates as creeks and rivers overflowed. The National Weather Service said the 7.62 inches at Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City topped the previous record of 7.53 inches set on Sept. 22, 1970.

Fire fighters are bracing for more weather-related problems on Tuesday, with state forecasts calling for more scattered showers. The National Weather Service has placed the area under a Flood Warning until 12:18 p.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE SINCE THIS STORY WAS FIRST POSTED: This story has been updated to confirm that one man has died as a result of flash-flooding in Oklahoma.

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