The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

August 19, 2007

Tropical Storm Erin's remnants pound Kingfisher and Blaine counties

KINGFISHER — Rescuers continued working throughout the day and into the night in Kingfisher to assist residents who were trapped by rushing waters caused by an overnight rainstorm — the result of Tropical Storm Erin.

Bernard Ward, 52, was discovered drowned about 14 miles west of Kingfisher after floodwaters knocked his vehicle from Oklahoma 33, Kingfisher County Sheriff Dennis Banther said. Two Watonga residents were injured after their home was struck by straight-line winds or a tornado.

Watonga also was hit hard by the storm and reported high water and winds with many homes and businesses destroyed and power lines down.

The storm dissipated by early Sunday afternoon, but water still was rising in Kingfisher and expected to crest about 7 p.m. at 27.9 feet. One person is missing in the Kingfisher area when water swept his pickup from the highway and rushing water forced Oklahoma Highway Patrol rescuers to abandon the search. The vehicle was later recovered, but the individual is still missing.

OHP established a mobile command post in Kingfisher along with a quick-response vehicle designed to provide immediate communications assistance. Two OHP helicopters assisted in the Kingfisher area. About 22 OHP personnel are assisting in Kingfisher, with other personnel at Fort Cobb. Numerous area police departments also are assisting in the Kingfisher area.

A shelter was established in Kingfisher at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds.

All residents known to be stranded had been rescued in Kingfisher by 6 p.m. and authorities were making a door-to-door search, making contact with residents to check on their health and welfare.

Bonita North returned home Saturday night from her late shift to find her home at 209 S.10th full of water. North finally got to her home and when she opened the door, found water inside the home and everything floating. North has lived in the house three years and owns the residence, but has no insurance.

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