Video Captures Runaway Barges Sinking in Rain-Swollen River After Smashing Into Dam

Thought secured just hours earlier, two runaway barges broke loose Thursday on the Arkansas River, crashed into a dam in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and sank.

Police shut down major thoroughfares and ordered evacuations in the area after the barges came unmoored and threatened to crash through an Interstate 40 bridge and a dam on the bloated Arkansas River.

But just after 5 a.m. (6 a.m. ET), the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office said the barges were found several miles from Webbers Falls, one of the towns ordered to evacuate.

"They are still tied together and are currently stationary & stuck on a rock jetty, operators are working to secure them at that location," the sheriff's office said at the time.

The barges broke loose around noon, and video shows the vessels crashing into Webbers Falls Lock & Dam in Muskogee. Water inundated the boats, and they promptly sank.

The barges did not appear to breach the dam, said Kim Wann, LeFlore County emergency manager. State officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are assessing the damage.

If the dam breaks, residents along the river would be notified via the state's emergency alert system.

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By: ThisIsButter (32978.80)

Tags: two runaway barges broke, dams, news, flood

Location: Oklahoma