Runaway barges hit eastern Oklahoma dam amid disorderly Midwest storms – Fox News

2 barges bring countless pounds of fertilizer broke loose from their moorings Wednesday night and drifted down the swollen Arkansas River before slamming into a dam, according to several reports.

KOKH reported that the barges struck Lock and Dam 16 near Webbers Falls, Okla. Both barges sank into the Arkansas River, 4029 television reported.

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Authorities in Webbers Falls, a town of roughly 600 people about 70 miles southeast of Tulsa, had purchased an obligatory evacuation Wednesday afternoon since of the river’s increasing level. On Wednesday evening, a post on the town’s authorities Facebook page sounded the alarm about the runaway barges.

” Evacuate Webbers Falls right away,” the post read. “The barges are loose and has the possible to hit the lock and dam16 If the dam breaks, it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!”

Muskogee County Emergency Management spokeswoman Tricia Germany informed The Associated Press Thursday that officials were stressed that the barges would obstruct the water flow through the dam, but stated the water initially appeared to be flowing well.

The barge emergency was the most recent repercussion of storms and torrential rains that have actually damaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

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The Arkansas River was approaching historical highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again increasing after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of twisters. Forecasters anticipated parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more extreme weather condition Wednesday night into Thursday.

Authorities urged residents of several towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams increased.

The Associated Press added to this report.

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