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Flooding fears prompt evacuation of Medicine Park business district

MEDICINE PARK--The downtown business district of Medicine Park was evacuated on Wednesday after officials believed the Gondola Dam on Medicine Creek could be compromised.

"We're afraid the top of the dam, about the first eight or nine feet of it, is going to come off," said Odus Hennessee, the assistant mayor of Medicine Park.  "A structural engineer said the top of the thing may come off if we get another surge of water."

The situation with Gondola Dam developed after the floodgates were opened at Lake Lawtonka, changing the normally meandering Medicine Creek into a raging river of white water.  Comanche County Emergency Management officials said the situation is being monitored closely as rain is supposed to move back into the area tonight.

"It rained for about an hour and a half probably last night," Hennessee said.  "I think we got 8-10 inches of rain.  The creek is probably two feet lower than it was last night."

With the additional rain moving in Comanche County officials said beware of flash flooding.

"We're just advising everyone if you have flood waters that are coming up and approaching your home immediately evacuate your home," said Comanche County spokesman Chris Killmer.  "If you're driving down a county road or highway and you see flood waters do not drive into those flood waters."

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