National Weather Service Assesses Flood Damage In Crawford County

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- Experts with the National Weather Service out of Tulsa surveyed flood damage from the December floods in Crawford County on Thursday (Jan. 21).

Nicole Mcgavock said the team from the National Weather service would use the information obtained for future forecasts.

"We take this back to the office and we use this information to help us forecast in future events on what's going to happen -- to help warn people of future events," she said. "What they need to do to prepare."

Their first stop was the Field of Dreams in Van Buren.

"There really was some historical flooding through this thing," said Crawford County emergency manager Dennis Gilstrap.

The Field of Dreams suffered extensive damage from flooding in May 2015 and again in December. The baseball fields were under water. Water was also standing inside of practice buildings on the property.

"It has AstroTurf in it, and it had just got replaced from May. We sure would like to mitigate the situation and see if maybe we could do some flood proofing," Gilstrap said. "FEMA looked at the uninsured losses and it was at like $300,000, just on the uninsured losses. You look at those cost benefits and after a couple of disasters there is a possibility of doing something like a flood wall around it."

Team members with the National Weather Service assessed the damage at the Field of Dreams and then met with Crawford County resident Larry Hearn at his home.

Hearn's home sits right on the bank of Lee Creek. Water was inches from his home in December when the water was up.

"There is a lot of work to be done. I have to get rocks hauled in and dirt hauled in to get it all fixed back up," Hearn said.

Mcgavock said the water level of Lee Creek made history.

"We consider major flooding at 405 feet. We got up to 417 and a half feet at the highest. It came back down and leveled off, but still very high for several days before it finally went back down below flood stage," she said.


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