Miami Police Chief expects flooding to be similar to 1986, 20 overnight rescues

Miami Police Chief expects flooding to be similar to 1986, 20 overnight rescues
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Miami, Oklahoma flooding, May 21, 2019

Chief Thomas Anderson with the Miami Police Department and Emergency Management is telling residents to take action and be safe. Officials are expecting it to be, historically, about the third highest flood for the Miami area.

There are a number of road closures and updates posted to the City of Miami’s Facebook Pages: Police Department, City of Miami.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is also announcing highway road closures. To check current road conditions in Oklahoma, call ODOT’s Road Condition Hotline at 844-4OK-HWYS (844-465-4997) or go to

Chief Anderson says if you don’t have to be out and about, avoid driving. Don’t drive into running water. Throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Miami Fire Department ran about 20 rescues from people who got caught in running water.

With more rain in the forecast, he urges residents to be mindful for future rainfall and severe weather.

The National Weather Service has predicted a crest for the Neosho River near Commerce at 26.6 feet. That’s two and a half feet above major flood stage.

“That’s going to be a pretty significant flood for Miami,” said Chief Anderson on social media. He says that’s about three feet lower than 2007, but about the same as the flood levels in 1986.

The City of Miami has posted a photo album from the 1986 flood as a reference point for residents on its Facebook page. Officials also posted a Provisional Inundation Map for Miami. The map “simply states where the water will be, but not depth,” according to the City of Miami.

The river is expected to crest on Thursday or Friday, according to Chief Anderson.

He says if you have property or business that may flood, don’t wait to act. He asks anyone that see’s there’s going to be water, to pack up now and make a plan to minimize the risk to your property. Chief Anderson says don’t wait until it’s underwater and you have to be rescued.

More than a dozen sections of roads have been closed as of noon on Tuesday. Chief Anderson says travel through town for the next couple of days is going to be limited.

“Take action, be safe, and continue to monitor all of the Miami Facebook pages for any updates.”