The National Weather Service forecast office in Norman and the Arkansas-Red River Forecast Center in Tulsa, will change the flood stage for the river forecast point on Cottonwood Creek at Guthrie, OK, effective April 4, 2011.
Following a field survey and discussions with local officials, it was determined that the current flood stage of 23 feet (924.7 feet elevation) should be lowered to 22 feet (923.7 feet elevation). According to local officials, floodwaters begin to cover Oklahoma State Highway 33 (Noble Avenue) just west of the gage site at a river stage of 22 feet.
The Cottonwood Creek Basin is subject to occasional flooding, including a crest above the current flood stage in 2010, and three crests above the flood stage in 2007. The record crest there reached a stage of 30.0 feet (931.7 feet elevation) on Oct. 20, 1983, when 60 city blocks in Guthrie were inundated with flood depths up to eight feet over Highway 33.
The river gage site is comprised of a painted staff gage and a location to make tape-down measurements on the Highway 33 Bridge in Guthrie. Local officials maintain the staff gage and take readings during flood events.
Other river forecast services in the Cottonwood Creek drainage area that are supported by the Norman forecast office and the river forecast center include an upstream river forecast point near Seward, OK.
The Arkansas-Red River Forecast Center prepares river stage forecasts for the drainage area of the Arkansas River above Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and the drainage area of the Red River above Fulton, Arkansas. Covering approximately 208,000 square miles, the forecast center's area of responsibility includes all of Oklahoma, and portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.
The Norman office provides all the weather services for 48 counties in the western two-thirds of Oklahoma (excluding the Oklahoma panhandle), and eight counties in northwestern Texas. The office collects meteorological data, prepares and disseminates weather forecasts, river and flood forecasts and warnings; and, issues severe weather watches and warnings to the public. Additional information is available at http://www.weather.gov/norman or http://www.weather.gov/abrfc.
Comments and questions about the flood stage change for the river forecast point on the Cottonwood Creek at Guthrie should be directed to the service hydrologist at the National Weather Service office in Norman. Please call us at 405-325-3816... or write us at the address below.
National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office
National Weather Center
120 David L. Boren Blvd. Suite 2400
Norman, OK 73072