An Oklahoma woman drowned after her car was swept away by floodwaters

Posted at 3:54 PM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-23 17:54:57-04

Severe flooding in Oklahoma led to the death of a 64-year-old woman early Sunday.

Authorities said Vickie Darnel died from drowning after she drove into a flooded creek in Le Flore County, near the Arkansas state line. Her car was swept away by the floodwaters, according to Lt. Kera Philippi, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Darnel, of Poteau, Oklahoma, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to an OHP news release.

The area where Darnel died has seen a number of flash-flood and severe-thunderstorm warnings from the National Weather Service over the last 24 hours, all part of a fast-moving line of severe storms known as a derecho.

The National Weather Service defines derechos as “widespread, long-lived wind storms associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” Hurricane force winds and flash flooding are typical of derechos.

More than 14 states have felt the impact of the storms since they began Friday. CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas have all been hit by the system.

The derecho is curving southeast, said CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford, and is expected to move through the Dallas area to Louisiana Sunday evening. It will then move through central Louisiana and into Mississippi overnight into Monday, Shackelford said.