Barges loose from port, headed toward Webbers Falls Lock and Dam

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According to KJRH in Tulsa, two barges on the Arkansas River at Port of Muskogee have gotten loose in rising floodwaters, the Muskogee County Sheriff has confirms.

Emergency personnel say the barges are headed toward the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam, which is a significant concern. Webbers Falls is under a mandatory evacuation as the city already is bracing for major flood damage.

Around 10 p.m., officials said the barges were going downstream at 12 mph.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has closed Interstate 40 in Muskogee County and the westbound and eastbound lanes at Mile Marker 297 near Vian in Sequoyah County are shut down because the barges are headed to that location.

For historical reference, the I-40 bridge in Webbers Falls was hit by a barge in May 2002, which killed 14 people when the bridge collapsed.

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