Webbers Falls residents have been asked to evacuate the town as flooding from multiple storms runs down the Arkansas River.

Town officials said in a social media post that the evacuation request stemmed from a Muskogee County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday night.

"The flood is going to be worse than anticipated," officials said in the social media post. "They have requested complete evacuation of the Town of Webbers Falls."

Ken Doke, District 1 county commissioner, confirmed Tuesday night that the evacuation is occurring. Doke said people can sleep on cots at the old gym at Bacone College, 2299 Old Bacone Road in Muskogee. Town officials report that the "old Gore gym" also will be open for displaced Webbers Falls residents.

"The severity of this situation has been raised from minor to major," Doke said in a video on his Facebook page. "It's a dangerous and life-threatening situation at this time."

The Arkansas River near Muskogee is expected to swell to 38 feet by Thursday, about 10 feet above the flood stage there. National Weather Service meteorologists report that the river should reach that level before dawn Thursday. For context, the 1986 flood reached just over 39 feet.

At 37 feet, severe flooding occurs along the river near Muskogee, according to the weather service. 

The river is expected to remain around that for "an extended period of time," according to the long-standing flood warning in Muskogee County. If upstream reservoirs release additional water, the river will rise more.

Muskogee County commissioners declared a state of emergency Tuesday.

"Some roads will flood; residents could become trapped, so we're asking you to pay very close attention at this time," Doke said.

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​Harrison Grimwood



Twitter: @grimwood_hmg

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