Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Emergency Management director Albert Ashwood meet with first responders in Purcell on May 27, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma Hangs On As Heavy Rain Continues To Soak Region

Clean-up continues across Texas and Oklahoma after days of heavy rain and flooding. In Oklahoma, May is already the wettest month on record and the rains aren’t done yet. More water means more flooding in a state where the soil is already saturated and rivers are overflowing. Justin Nimmo walks up the muddy front steps of his rent-to-own store in Purcell, Oklahoma, a little town about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City. Inside, fans and dehumidifiers purr as they strain to dry out his showroom. ...
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Aerial footage of floodwaters covering Alameda Street as it crosses Lake Thunderbird in far east Norman on May 24, 2015.
Lawrence McEwen / YouTube

Gov. Mary Fallin has directed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to speed up bidding on county infrastructure projects and find more ways to support recovery efforts in light of widespread damage after flooding throughout the month of May.

Fallin says some state lawmakers have asked her to redirect money from Oklahoma's Rainy Day Fund to county infrastructure projects, which she doesn't have the legal authority to do.

Gov. Mary Fallin and state emergency management director Albert Ashwood tour damaged areas in Purcell Wednesday morning.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated 3:17 p.m.: Severe storms likely across western Oklahoma

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for counties in far western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, saying there's an Enhanced Risk for severe storms across far western Oklahoma Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Emergency Management director Albert Ashwood meet with first responders in Purcell on May 27, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Clean-up continues across Texas and Oklahoma after days of heavy rain and flooding. In Oklahoma, May is already the wettest month on record and the rains aren’t done yet. More water means more flooding in a state where the soil is already saturated and rivers are overflowing.

Justin Nimmo walks up the muddy front steps of his rent-to-own store in Purcell, Oklahoma, a little town about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City. Inside, fans and dehumidifiers purr as they strain to dry out his showroom.

Mason Bolay climbs into the cab of a tractor on his family's farm near Perry, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States Rule — also known as the Clean Water Rule — attempts to clarify which bodies of water qualify for federal protection — which ones are streams, which ones are tributaries, whether pollution dumped into one stream will trickle into another — that sort of thing.

There have been a number of weather-related deaths in Oklahoma since storms and flooding began on Friday, including a firefighter who died during a water rescue, and a 48-year-old woman who was killed after a tornado struck her home.

Nearly two years ago, a powerful tornado – the widest on record – struck the rural outskirts of Oklahoma City. Fortunately it missed heavily populated areas, but the ensuing flash flood killed 13 people in Oklahoma City, including nine Guatemalan immigrants.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Residents of southeastern Texas woke up Wednesday morning to another flash-flood warning, as a new round of thunderstorms rumbled across parts of the already flood-soaked state.

The National Weather Service forecasts more storms for Wednesday across the region, some of them possibly severe.

Near Dallas, the Padera Lake dam was breached for a time, forcing evacuations before officials drained the lake to reduce pressure on the earthen structure.

water well
Kashif Mardani / Flickr

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is offering free bacterial testing of private well water due to statewide flooding.

The agency announced Tuesday that the testing will be available until August 15.

The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings Monday as a storm system spawned twisters and high winds across much of central and eastern Oklahoma.

Brothers and business partners Fred and Wayne Schmedt stand in their family's wheat field near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

All the recent wet weather wiped out the drought in western Oklahoma, but climate scientists say farmers in the region should get ready for more hotter, drier days in the future.

A tornado struck the Best Value Inn on Southeast 44th Street and Interstate 35
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Tuesday for areas of Oklahoma affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in early May.

It makes federal funding available to individuals whose property was damaged in storms in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties May 5-10.

Marine Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer, 21, was killed July 21, 2007 in Iraq. He grew up in East Northport, New York. Gilbertson photographed his bedroom almost two years later.
Ashley Gilbertson / Bedrooms of the Fallen, University of Chicago Press

When Ashley Gilbertson was 13 years old, his parents bought him his first camera to photograph himself and his friends skateboarding. A year later, his photos were published in a skateboarding magazine.

“That feeling of seeing something happen, take a photograph of it, and then see it in a magazine … [it] was totally addictive. It’s magical,” said Gilbertson, who grew from photographing skateboarding to become a war photographer.

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