As much as 6 inches of rain inundated parts of Oklahoma and Texas Saturday, turning streets into rivers and forcing residents to flee to higher ground. The slow-moving storm was expected to continue, producing heavy rain through the Memorial Day weekend. A flash flood watch for central Oklahoma and northern Texas was issued at 2 p.m. CDT and remained in effect through Monday morning.
Six inches of rain fell on Elk City in western Oklahoma. Landslides were reported causing significant damage. No injuries were reported. Photos from Big Elks TV, an online channel that's part of the OKPreps network, show dangerous water levels. Rescue operations were underway.
Elk City, Ok. Trailer park rescues underway! 2:46pm 5-15-23 pic.twitter.com/peEOdfD10n
â€” Joe Miller (@Westokchaser2) May 23, 2015
Many streets in Elk City are flooded and blocked. Be safe and stay at home if at all possible! pic.twitter.com/1oVKG4JTM2
â€” Big Elks TV (@bigelkstv) May 23, 2015
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has issued highway closures, including Interstate 40, but there were no projections on when the roads would be reopened.
In Texas, Wichita Falls and Corpus Christi received unprecedented levels of rainfall for May, making it the wettest month on record for both cities. Oklahoma City was on track to eclipse the record for the wettest month for the area. As of May 22, 14.46 inches of rain had been recorded just shy of the record 14.66 inches recorded for June 1989, Weather Underground reported.
Flooding from the Wichita River led to evacuations Wednesday and Thursday, and the river has continued to rise, hitting 21.1 feet Saturday, more than 3 feet above flood stage, KSWO, Wichita Falls, reported. The river reached its highest level, 24 feet, in a 2007 flood but that could be surpassed after this weekend, forecasters said. Slow-moving thunderstorms were expected for Sunday.
A tornado watch was in effect until 7 p.m. CDT for parts of Texas and Oklahoma:
â€” The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 23, 2015
Others areas, including portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri, are under flood watch, the National Weather Service said.