Tulsa's Flood Control Plan Result of Various Storm Events in 70s, 80s

Thirty years ago on Memorial Day area residents may remember that Tulsa experienced one of the worst floods in its history.

Previous reports from KTUL state that 14 people died and an estimated $180 million in damages were a result of the Memorial Day Flood of 1984. Officials with the National Weather Service believe that an approximate 14 inches of rain fell across the Tulsa metro.

"It's still the flood of record in one twelve-hour period," Earl Groves with the Army Corp of Engineers said. "Every low-lying area, street, crossing, the storm drains were just clogged."

Various departments and agencies have worked together to lessen the threat since the Memorial Day flood and various others in Tulsa's history from 1970 to 1986. It took more than 20 years of planning and coordination between members of the City of Tulsa, the Army Corp of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"The City had done some of the work, but a lot of that got resize and put together as a complete system," Groves said.

Tulsa's Flood Control Plan was named one of the best in the nation receiving various awards and recognitions, according to a previous report from KTUL. FEMA also ranks Tulsa #2 for its ability to handle large storm water events.

Residents benefited as a result of the plan receiving lower insurance rates and funding for further improvements. It even renovated and added parks in Tulsa that double as flood detention centers.

"Other cities use this [plan] as a model and still look at a model today as to how to manage large rain events," Groves added. He believes Tulsa's plan will be able get through another major flooding event if it were to ever happen again.