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Oklahoma town urges evacuation due to rising river

Published
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt talks with the media following an aerial tour of tornado and flood damaged areas of the state, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. (AP) — A small town in Oklahoma is urging residents to evacuate as the Arkansas River heads toward near-historic levels.

Forecasters say major flooding is expected in Webbers Falls, a town of about 600 people about 140 miles (225 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City.

According to the National Weather Service, the Arkansas River was at 34.5 feet (10.5 meters), or 6.5 feet (2 meters) above flood stage, as of Wednesday morning. The river was expected to rise to 40 feet (12 meters) by Thursday morning. The National Weather Service says the flooding poses an "extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation."

Forecasters say parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see severe weather Wednesday, the latest in a multi-day stretch of storms that have spawned dozens of tornadoes and caused two deaths in Missouri.

Tony Brinker, a volunteer with the Augusta Fire Protection District, cuts trees that were blocking Highway 94, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Augusta, Mo. A long north-south line of storms hit the St. Louis area Tuesday evening. The storms are part of a weather system moving across the Midwest that began last weekend and will continue through the week, according to the National Weather Service. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Horse Thief Lake off US Highway 224 sits cold and unused in the snow storm on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The storm has dumped 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow on the west side of Rapid City. National Weather Service meteorologist and hydrologist Melissa Smith says Rapid City is seeing minor flooding. (Adam Fondren/Black Hills Pioneer via AP)
Flooding in Kingfisher, Okla. is pictured Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Crews begin to replace electric lines across from a tornado damaged home, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Mangum, Okla. Dangerous storms left a string of more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S., damaging homes in Oklahoma, demolishing a racetrack grandstand in Missouri and inundating the region with water over a short period. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A storm front seen from Chesterfield Parkway westbound onramp to Highway 40 (Interstate 64) is seen looking west in to St. Charles County, in Missouri. The storm rolled into the region Tuesday evening. Funnel clouds were reported in St. Charles County, but there were no immediate reports of major damage. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
A flooded field is pictured from the air, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Geary, Okla. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A flooded field is pictured from the air, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Geary, Okla. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A flooded field is pictured from the air, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Geary, Okla. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Horse Thief Lake off US Highway 224 sits cold and unused in the snow storm on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The storm has dumped 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow on the west side of Rapid City. National Weather Service meteorologist and hydrologist Melissa Smith says Rapid City is seeing minor flooding. (Adam Fondren/Black Hills Pioneer via AP)
Horse Thief Lake off US Highway 224 sits cold and unused in the snow storm on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The storm has dumped 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow on the west side of Rapid City. National Weather Service meteorologist and hydrologist Melissa Smith says Rapid City is seeing minor flooding. (Adam Fondren/Black Hills Pioneer via AP)
Tony Brinker, a volunteer with the Augusta Fire Protection District, cuts trees that were blocking Highway 94, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Augusta, Mo. A long north-south line of storms hit the St. Louis area Tuesday evening. The storms are part of a weather system moving across the Midwest that began last weekend and will continue through the week, according to the National Weather Service. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Tony Brinker, a volunteer with the Augusta Fire Protection District, cuts trees that were blocking Highway 94, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Augusta, Mo. A long north-south line of storms hit the St. Louis area Tuesday evening. The storms are part of a weather system moving across the Midwest that began last weekend and will continue through the week, according to the National Weather Service. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Flooding in Kingfisher, Okla. is pictured Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Flooding in Kingfisher, Okla. is pictured Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt talks with the media following an aerial tour of tornado and flood damaged areas of the state, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt talks with the media following an aerial tour of tornado and flood damaged areas of the state, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A storm front seen from Chesterfield Parkway westbound onramp to Highway 40 (Interstate 64) is seen looking west in to St. Charles County, in Missouri. The storm rolled into the region Tuesday evening. Funnel clouds were reported in St. Charles County, but there were no immediate reports of major damage. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
A storm front seen from Chesterfield Parkway westbound onramp to Highway 40 (Interstate 64) is seen looking west in to St. Charles County, in Missouri. The storm rolled into the region Tuesday evening. Funnel clouds were reported in St. Charles County, but there were no immediate reports of major damage. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Crews begin to replace electric lines across from a tornado damaged home, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Mangum, Okla. Dangerous storms left a string of more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S., damaging homes in Oklahoma, demolishing a racetrack grandstand in Missouri and inundating the region with water over a short period. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Crews begin to replace electric lines across from a tornado damaged home, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, near Mangum, Okla. Dangerous storms left a string of more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S., damaging homes in Oklahoma, demolishing a racetrack grandstand in Missouri and inundating the region with water over a short period. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)