Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration As Death Toll In Flooding Rises

The number of people who died because of storms that have inundated parts of Texas and Oklahoma this week has hit 25 people, after search crews found a drowned truck driver whose vehicle had overturned in a culvert near Dallas.That's the word from member station KERA, where Lauren Silverman reports that a new batch of storms that hit Dallas-Fort Worth "dumped three to seven inches of rain on an already over-saturated area" Thursday night.All that water created treacherous conditions for...
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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.

Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET

Storms continued to move through Texas and Oklahoma, bringing tornadoes and dumping torrential rains that led to deadly flooding.

Memorial Day Storms Will Add To OK Flooding Concerns

May 25, 2015
National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Norman, OK

Updated 4:30 p.m. The National Weather adds several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, including a recently tweeted statement regarding a strong storm impacting Pittsburg County. 

Flooding in Oklahoma City on 23rd Street
NATHANAEL CALLON / Twitter

Update May 25, 10 a.m.  The Oklahoma Red Cross closed the Oklahoma City shelter Monday morning, but the other shelters listed below remain open.

Update 2:30 p.m.  Heartline and the Oklahoma Red Cross are offering assistance for people affected by the storms and flooding throughout Oklahoma.

Call HeartLine 2-1-1 for resource information like temporary shelters and agencies taking displaced pets. Heartline also has a web page with resource information. Residents of Oklahoma City can also call 2-1-1 to register the damage so officials can make damage assessments.

Below is an updated list of Red Cross shelters opened in Oklahoma for those affected by flooding.

Oklahoma City area -- closed Monday morning
Messiah Lutheran Church, 3600 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City

Remaining open:

Noble/Slaughterville/Purcell area: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4401 Maguire Rd, Noble

Residents being ferried away from east side of Lake Thunderbird by canoe.
OU Emergency Prep / Twitter

Updated 7:30 p.m. Sunshine.  

Updated 4 p.m. The National Weather Service forecast calls for more dangerous flooding through the rest of this holiday weekend. Light to moderate rain may still be possible Sunday evening and Monday afternoon and evening. This rainfall will worsen ongoing flooding and could lead to more flash flooding in some areas. Flash Flood Warnings/Watches extend through Monday morning across the state.

A bill to restrict the public's access to police videos from dashboard and body cameras passed the Oklahoma state Senate and is headed to the governor's desk.

The Senate voted 44-2 on Thursday for the bill that adds dozens of new exemptions to the state's Open Records Act for law enforcement entities.

Under the bill, police and sheriffs will be allowed to withhold from the public videos that depict deaths or acts of violence, unless such acts were committed by a law enforcement officer.

KGOU Wins Awards!

May 24, 2015
Some of the awards received by KGOU in the spring of 2015.
KGOU

May 24, 2015

This is from the Manager’s Desk.   

The KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma Staff are very talented people, and once again, their work has been recognized.

This week – I'm congratulating the KGOU staff, and next week, StateImpact Oklahoma will get the applause.

Jim Johnson was the top winner in the Metro Radio Division of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters’ annual competition for a radio feature about independent music in Oklahoma.

Flooding on 2nd Street at Rankin in Edmond, Oklahoma
Edmond Police Department

Updated 9:45 p.m. Heavy rainfall continues to create flooding concerns across central Oklahoma.  

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports at least 15 road closures

National Weather Service meteorologist Harold Brooks confirms what forecasters had been predicting - today's deluge would surpass historic single-month rainfall record for Oklahoma City.

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