Whether or not Monday’s severe flash flood caught local emergency workers off-guard was hard to judge by those who listened and watched the frenetic activity that made Monday “one of those days.”

As much as six inches of rain pounded Pontotoc County in less than three hours Monday, causing already-burdened creeks and rivers to jump their banks in some of the worst flash flooding in decades. At 9 a.m., it was an ordinary rainy Monday morning. By 10 a.m., things were out of control and emergency responders were in overdrive.

Dozens of motorists found themselves in dire straits after venturing into rising water. Over and over, the police scanner squawked across the newsroom, sending another member of one of the various local emergency response groups scurrying through the storm to help a resident in need.

Those responders did a fabulous job. Truly fabulous.

Moving as quickly as possible through wind, rain, lightning and dangerously flooded streets and roadways, those emergency workers were somehow everywhere at once. Officers from the Ada Police, Pontotoc County Sheriff, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Valley View EMS and a dozen or so volunteer fire departments worked magnificently with City of Ada street crews and Pontotoc County Highway Department employees to respond effciently and amazingly.

Dispatchers from the local 9-1-1 emergency lines were swamped with calls, but NOT overwhelmed, because they remained calm, in control and professional.

It was – again – a reminder that Oklahoma’s elements can be fierce, unpredictable and deadly.

But it was also a comforting reminder that we have capable, willing and well-trained men and women standing guard and ready to respond when we find ourselves in need.

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