By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon firefighters performed about 10 water rescues due to heavy rainfall Monday night and Tuesday morning that caused widespread flooding across parts of central Oklahoma.
The National Weather Service in Norman issued flood warnings until 9 a.m. Saturday for Canadian County with Yukon among municipalities experiencing surging high waters.
At press time Tuesday, AccuWeather reported precipitation totaling four to six inches over the previous 24 hours in Canadian County.
The Yukon Fire Department was called early Tuesday to a home in the 6900 block of E Elm, near Banner and Radio Road, to help rescue a family of five that was trapped due to rising waters.
“It was difficult getting to the area, so we had to send guys in by foot,” Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt said. “We really couldn’t get our raft in there because it was about 2-1/2 miles that they were trying to track in there.”
Richland Fire responded with its large brush pumper truck to pick Yukon firefighters up to take them to the home.
The E Elm flood victims told Yukon firefighters of another family trapped in a nearby home, so the Oklahoma City Fire Department was called to respond on mutual aid with its rescue boat.
“These houses out there are flooding; unfortunately, people get stuck. They have no way to get out, because they can’t get in their cars and drive out,” Chief Vogt said.
Later Tuesday morning, Yukon firefighters rescued a motorist who had driven around barricades into high water at 11th Street and Foreman.
“We took our raft out there and got them out of their vehicle and took them to dry land,” Vogt said.
Yukon’s fire chief offered kudos to his crews for their response to the flooding.
“The guys did a phenomenal job,” he said. “We have several guys who are highly trained in swift water rescue. We’re real confident sending them out there to help people.
“We just remind people not to drive in high waters or moving waters. We don’t want to see them get hurt and we don’t want to have to do those rescues.”
Yukon police set up barricades on roads north of Main Street to Richland Roads after the torrential rains caused flooding overnight Monday.
However, some motorists ignored the warning and tried to drive around them Tuesday morning.
“We’re having a lot of people run through barricades,” Yukon Police Major John Brown said.
“They’re in a hurry to get somewhere north, unfortunately, all of our north-south streets are shut down right now.
“We’re pretty much on a ‘zero tolerance’ for people who go around barricades.”
Besides those instances, Maj. Brown said police are thankful nobody has been hurt.
Yukon police helped the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office shut down Highway 66 between Banner Road at Gregory Road after water covered the roadway.
As the threat of more severe thunderstorms and flash flooding continued Tuesday afternoon, Yukon police and fire personnel were monitoring the situation in case anyone else became trapped in high waters.