New models from National Weather Service could change the plans moving forward for Wichita County and Wichita Falls officials.
Officials have been working around the clock at the Emergency Operations Center. They are constantly looking at new models and coming up with the right approach. On Friday afternoon, officials said they were prepared to let some residents return to the homes on Friday morning. However, that all changed when they got new models from the National Weather Service.
Those particular models took into account the precipitation heading towards Texoma, especially on Saturday night into Sunday morning. Due to the new models, officials at the EOC decided to rework their approach to the rapidly changing flood situation.
As it stands, the record for the Wichita River sits at 24.4 feet. The models from NWS show the river will be over that mark by 7:00p.m. on Saturday. The models predict the levels could reach around 27 feet. It will stay above the current record until Thursday, May 28th.
This new information has prompted officials to compile maps to show what areas could be affected if the levels are two or three feet above the record. So, far they have analyzed the maps from the 2007 flood, but with the potential of water levels getting higher, they want to prepare ahead of time. They explained they are preparing for the worst, a historic flood.
This could force more Texomans to evacuate their homes. Officials said if more homes have to be evacuated, they will go door to door notifying residents. Residents should not panic. However, they should prepare to evacuate.
Officials are also looking at how the rising waters could affect other areas in the county, such as Burkburnett, Archer City, and Iowa Park.
During the briefing at 8:00p.m. on Friday night, officials expressed how this could turn into something they have never seen before. They said it will be a team effort by everyone involved and that they will have to lean on each other for assistance.
Officials will gather again at the EOC at 8:00a.m. on Saturday. During the briefing, they hope to have new maps created. They will also have another phone conference with officials from the NWS to see if there are any changes to the models.
Newschannel 6 will be at that meeting to keep you informed.