River Valley Flooding: One year later — a town underwater

KNWA

"We lived here for years," Massey said. "For 40 years and now we had to replace it with a trailer."

MOFFETT, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — It’s been one year since the historic Arkansas River flooding, a natural disaster that left one town completely underwater.

Flood waters took over homes, churches, and even the school in Moffett, Oklahoma.

We had to redo our house and tear my house down. We had to replace it with a trailer. It was terrible. We didn’t have [any] idea that it would be that bad.

VIRGINIA MASSEY, MOFFETT RESIDENT/TEACHER

It is heartbreaking when you see water approximately 6-feet up onto the walls, and you see all the bibles on the floor.

HAROLD YATES, PASTOR AT MOFFETT BAPTIST CHURCH

I think most of us were able to maybe get or save a tote worth of things and that’s about it.

STACEY BEAM, TEACHER AT MOFFETT SCHOOL

Stacey Beam is a teacher at the town’s lone school, and Melissa Jones is one of the secretaries.

“A lot of people didn’t think we’d be back,” Beam said. “I mean it was pretty rough looking.”

Despite the 8-foot floodwaters, school was able to be back in session.

“It’s still a work in progress, but they’ll get there,” Jones said.

There were a lot of changes, made possible through blood, sweat, and tears.

“We don’t get paid extra to be down here,” Beam said. “Every teacher was down here day and night working on things.”

Virginia Massey also teaches at the school.

Not only did she lose her livelihood to the Arkansas River flooding, she also lost her home.

“We lived here for years,” Massey said. “For 40 years and now we had to replace it with a trailer.”

There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, but Moffett residents said their little town is better than ever.

“Because the flood did come because it happened, I have seen such a love and compassion and just the heart and spirit of people that I have never seen before,” Jones said.

The historic flood brought everyone closer together — after being in the same boat.

Slowly but surely we’re getting back home.

VIRGINIA MASSEY, MOFFETT RESIDENT/TEACHER

Moffett as a whole is a group of people who will stand together especially in difficulty.

HAROLD YATES, PASTOR AT MOFFETT BAPTIST CHURCH

Thank you to everyone for believing in us, supporting us, making donations — just making it possible for us to be back.

STACEY BEAM, TEACHER AT MOFFETT SCHOOL

According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, there were about 130 people living in Moffett.

Jones said after the flood, the town now has only about 50 residents living in the area.

“We still have several other residents that are still working on their homes,” she said.

She is confident the people who left will eventually make their way back.

“Moffett will not just fade away,” Jones said.

Find more stories regarding the historic River Valley flooding by visiting our River Valley News section of our website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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