Heavy rains leave flood damage - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Heavy rains leave flood damage

SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA_Heavy rainfall may be welcomed in this time of drought, but it has left flood damage across Southwest Oklahoma.

One of the damaged areas includes a sinkhole at an auto repair shop in Lawton. The owner of the store says the hole was nine feet deep and about eight feet in diameter, but when he came in the next day it had expanded to eleven feet across. City crews worked on repairing it Thursday. They say it was one of four sinkholes across the city. Officials say they're caused by deteriorating water and sewer lines caving in as water collects.

Out on Pecan Road, between 82nd Street and 97th Street in southwest Comanche County, crews worked to repair what's left of the washed out road. The $5,000 repairs may be costly, but Commissioner Don Hawthorne says it's worth it.

"This is a busy road, a very busy road,” Hawthorne said. "I imagine as many houses are on it that the mail runs on it and I know school buses do."

He says citizens warned dispatch that the portion of the road was starting to collapse and they kept an eye on it until it was deemed unsafe, preventing what could have lead to serious accidents.

"That would have been tragic if we wouldn't have kept an eye on it and if we hadn't caught it in time and hadn't blocked the road and had somebody drive off in it," Hawthorne said.

The town of Walters saw a lot of flooding too. Sultan Park looks a little more like a swimming pool than a park. Cotton County Emergency Manager Shawn Strange says Walters is a hot spot for floods.

"Walters really catches all of Lawton's runoff,” Strange said. “All your streets and everything kind of ends up here in Walters and down on farther. So, when Lawton gets a flood, 24 hours and we see it."

At the State Highway 53 bridge over East Cache Creek, dead trees from the drought and garbage started to pile up.

Strange says citizens in the county are used to dealing with floodwater passing through.

"There's no houses nearby,” Strange said. “They know how to get their farm equipment out of the waterways, to move their cattle and they just watch the weather and are really prepared for it."

He says flood water tripled the width of East Cache Creek and increased the depth from two feet to about 22 feet. While that may seem like a blessing during this drought, Strange says that's not the case. The water in that particular creek is just passing through on its way to the Red River, making it hard to watch.

"Unfortunately, all these millions of gallons we see going down the river really don't help Cotton County a whole lot and that's the bad thing about it,” Strange said.

Strange said since East Cache Creek runs under Highway 53, debris cleanup is the responsibility of the state. He's unsure of when that cleanup will begin.

Repairs on Pecan Road began Thursday, but unfortunately they won't be complete until the water levels go down.

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