MIAMI — To say that folks at the National Weather Service office in Tulsa have been busy might be an understatement.
In addition to trying to predict lake and river levels following the torrential rains earlier in the week, they’ve had to evaluate some of the 13 tornadoes that were either sighted or touched down during the severe weather than battered the area Wednesday night.
An NWS survey team found EF-1 damage from a tornado west of Bluejacket.
Its report said there were trees snapped, and uprooted, barns and farm equipment destroyed and numerous power poles snapped.
The funnel that smacked Jay was determined to be an EF-2 because of the damage path that started on the northwest side of Jay and broke up just into McDonald County, Missouri, north of Route O.
There were several homes severely damaged, outbuildings destroyed, lots of tree damage and poles snapped.
According to an NWS report, there were also two EF-2 tornadoes in Nowata County and one in Washington, EF-1 tornadoes in Creek, Delaware, Mayes (two), Osage and Ottawa counties and EF-0 storms in Latimer, Nowata and Osage counties.
NWS meteorologist Nicole McGavock said during a Thursday briefing that because of additional rainfall in the basin from Chanute, Kansas, to Miami between 1 ½ to 4 inches of rainfall, the crest estimate was elevated again.
An earlier forecast with no additional rainfall was 22.5 for the crest, but Miami got 3.78 inches Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
McGavock said the level was expected to fall then rise again to 25.3 feet late Friday night.
The actual crest wasn’t expected until Saturday.
The level is predicted to remain above 21 feet through Tuesday night.
Because of the flooding, there was only one route out of town Hwt 69-69A. As a result, there were considerable tie-ups.
Businesses along Steve Owens Blvd. and several neighborhoods in flood areas moved out in a precautionary measure.
Water rescues continued through Thursday, according to Miami Police Chief and Emergency Management Director Thomas Anderson.
A Red Cross shelter was set up at First Christian Church of Miami. The local Salvation Army was preparing meals for those who were staying there and others assisting.
Persons wishing to make donations to help flood victims can send them to the Miami Salvation Army, 217 W Steve Owens Blvd.
“We will make sure it is spent locally to help recover from the flood,” said Marcia Kruse of the local Salvation Army.
Spring River was close to cresting at 33.5 Thursday then eventually falling below flood stage Sunday morning.
McGavock said while some precipitation was expected in Kansas over the weekend, the next significant rainfall locally is expected to be Tuesday.
“We do need to keep an eye out as we go into next week when the potential for rainfall returns,” she said.