NWS urges livestock evacuation along flooding Red River in TX, OK

DEKALB, TX (KSLA) - The National Weather Service is recommending livestock be moved to higher ground as part of preparations for major flooding along the Red River in Pecan Point near Dekalb, Texas and in McCurtain County in Oklahoma.

The area is expected to see major flooding by Sunday and officials are hoping to prevent a repeat of what happened in 1990.

Flood stage in that area is 24 feet, and the water level was already at 24.35 feet as of early Thursday morning and it is expected to continue rising to near 31 feet by Sunday morning before it begins to fall.

At 30 feet, the NWS says thousands of acres of farm land and pasture will flood. Much of the flood plain is inundated, and preparations for a major flood should be made as soon as possible.

Area reservoirs including Lake Texoma continue to fill as this very wet spring of 2015 continues. Soils remain saturated across north Texas and southern Oklahoma and nearly all of the Red River`s tributaries remain above flood stage.

For some ranchers in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, it was time to load them up and move them out.

The owner of the cattle decided to move his cows early in fear or possible major flooding.

"He wanted to run them a little longer but with the flood coming up, he decided to get them out of here while he could instead of floating them out," said cowboy James Davis.

25 years ago, the river overflowed its banks causing the rescue of livestock by helicopter and damaged land on both sides of the river. Those working on the ranch are trying to prevent a repeat of 1990.

The ranch where the livestock was being moved from is located less than one half mile from the Red River on Oklahoma State Highway 87.

Area farmers, ranchers and residents on the Red River are urged to continue to closely monitor the weather and Red River stages through the first week of June.

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