River flooding concerns in Muskogee

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 8/13/2013 6:25 pm Published: 8/13/2013 6:11 pm

River flooding is a concern, especially in Muskogee. Some in Muskogee have been worried it could even force them from their homes.

Officials with the port of Muskogee said the levels are bearable now, but the river can't hold much more water. So if rain continues, they and residents could have a mess on their hands. 

The Riverside Mobile Home Community sits just behind the trees on the other side of the Arkansas River. A river that is close to flooding, too close for Lizeth Alonso.

I'm definitely concerned,” she said.

She lives in the complex with her daughter and mother.

"We're the closest ones to the river,” Alonso said. “It would probably hit us first."

However, Alonso's mother doesn't think that will happen.

"I'm not scared at all,” she said. 

Port of Muskogee director Scott Robinson doesn’t think it’s a huge problem right now either.
"We're OK where we are today,” he told FOX23.

The river levels are high though. FOX23 drove to check them out today. At the Port of Muskogee the river is about 8 feet above normal. 
Robinson said that’s not enough to really start affecting the people yet. In order to call for evacuations, the river would have to be about 5 feet higher.

Thankfully though, the river is already down a foot from the 28 feet it was at yesterday.
"They're having the manage releases in three lakes,” Robinson said.
Lakes Keystone, Oologah and Fort Gibson Lake are all helping to keep the situation under control. We called the River Forecast Center today and learned the level should continue to drop, unless of course the rain continues to fall. If that happens, Robinson will become concerned.

"The river could easily come up a foot,” he said. “If it continues to rain it could be up another foot and another foot." 

The water is flowing rapidly in the river. For that reason, officials are urging against any type of recreational boating at this time.

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