Being prepared for heavy rains

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

DURANT, Okla. -- It's impossible to control the weather, but you can control how ready you are for severe conditions. Emergency management officials say being prepared and aware really helps so they are ready for days like Monday and Tuesday, when heavy rains are likely.

When it comes to preventing flood damage to your home or business, officials say a little preparation can make a big impact like designing your landscape with terraces, so that water runs away from any structures and not toward them. They also advise you to avoid lots of concrete, since it can't absorb water. If you don't have a green thumb, there are plenty of places to turn for help.

"There are a lot of resources, we'd be happy to help you. OSU Extension Office can also help them as well, to plan ahead of time," says James Dalton of Durant Emergency Management.

Still, some situations, like last year's flooding, are unavoidable. Several area businesses are still repairing damage caused by those high waters. Ruined power lines are one big problem.

"All of the water covered all the electrical outlets, we now have volunteer groups that are doing that, putting in new pedestals with new electric inside the pedestal so they will be operational," says Durant Chamber of Commerce director Janet Reed.

But owners and volunteers can't fix everything-- like roadways. That's why officials are stepping in to help out.

"We’ve been trying to go back and repair these damages and to be able to get some grant money for mitigation issues with areas that are prone to flooding,” Reed says.

Officials say they hope lakeside businesses are able to bounce back from last year's loss of revenue and have a profitable spring and summer 2008.

"If they can rebuild, they can in turn put money back into the economy and provide services to people from Dallas area and Oklahoma City area and bring in outside money into our community," Dalton says.

Dalton says business by the lake is profitable but can also be risky and that sometimes the corps of engineers has to hold extra water in the lake to avoid flooding further downstream.

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