UPDATE: Barges that broke loose on Arkansas River have been found


UPDATE: The two barges that broke loose on the Arkansas River have been found.

According to LeFlore County Emergency Management, they were stuck on some rocks about a mile from the dam.

Emergency management will continue to monitor the situation.

Original story

WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. (KNWA) – Oklahoma emergency management warns people about a possible dam breach after two barges break loose on the Arkansas River in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma.

LeFlore County emergency management said residents along the Arkansas River need to be aware of the situation to be prepared to evacuate their house at a moment’s notice. 

“There are 2 loaded barges loose on the Arkansas River. It is close to the Webber’s Falls Dam. There is the possibility of the dam being breached…if it does breach there will be a water surge,” LeFlore Emergency Management said in a Facebook post.  “We need all those residents along the Arkansas River to be prepared to evacuate their house at a moment’s notice. We have firefighters and law enforcement going door to door at this moment. Please stay alert and be ready.”

Oklahoma Highway Patrol has closed Interstate 40 bridge that crosses the Arkansas River as a precaution if the dam is damaged causing water to flow down the river.

“All lanes of SH-100 and I-40 are closed over the Arkansas River near the Muskogee/Sequoyah County line until further notice. Two barges are loose in the navigation channel and the highways are being closed as a safety precaution. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and other agencies are closely monitoring at this time. Drivers can expect significant delays and should avoid the area and seek an alternate route if possible.”

The city of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma is under a mandatory evacuation according to its Facebook page.

Here is a stream of the Webbers Falls Dam. (KNWA does not have control of the audio or video.)

City of Webbers Falls Facebook post about the barges. 

Location of Webbers Falls Dam.

May 26, 2002, a barge hit I-40 bridge and collapsed it killing 14.

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