MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Crews are working to secure the USS Batfish at Muskogee War Memorial Park during the catastrophic flooding in the area in May.
The USS Batfish Memorial in Muskogee is trying to stabilize the World War II submarine from rolling over onto its side while they raise money to move it back to where it was before flooding in May.
When the Arkansas River was at its fullest during the recent floods, the sub broke free of one of its mooring lines and began to drift down the river.
It was a slight move however, because it wedged itself up against a tree 30 yards from where it originally sat, there was at one point some concern the entire sub would break free and head down the Arkansas River towards the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam like two barges that broke free from the Port of Muskogee.
Once the water receded, it was clearly noticeable to the memorial’s caretakers that it was starting to settle into the ground, began to list, and part of it was possibly being upheld by the visitor gangway that twisted when the sub began to float away.
Officials at the park said Oklahoma Emergency Management and the National Guard took over the site while most of it was swept underwater.
Crews worked to fill the ballast tanks on board the USS Batfish to keep it inside the park's bowl. The National Guard also tied a new line to the boat to add leverage.
The Memorial is closed while they figure out what to do next and raise money to get it stable again.
They are committed to reopening later this year, but repairs will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it stable enough again to have visitors on and inside it.
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