New Creek County bridge built to withstand floods is under water
CREEK COUNTY, Okla. (KTUL) —
One neighborhood in Creek County is trapped by flood waters. People living around Keystone Lake said they can’t get out of their neighborhood without taking an 11-mile detour.
Folks there said the county had the opportunity to fix the problem, but came up a couple feet short.
Dave Fellingham’s hobby is woodworking. He said it’s about finding the perfect wood, having a plan and executing the design flawlessly.
But when he starts talking about the bridge down the street and the strategy behind it…
“I have lost patience,” said Fellingham. “I detest poor management, and that’s what we’ve got.”
He said the bridge near his neighborhood, Pelican Point, has been closed for nine months. The closure has forced him and his neighbors, Foy and Richard Howerton, to drive through narrow country roads to get into Mannford.
It’s not just a pain, but a serious health concern.
“We’ve been lucky in one way because I’ve had to call an ambulance for him several times. I haven’t had to the last year, thank goodness,” said Foy Howerton.
“I have congestive heart failure,” said Fellingham. “If I have a problem, I can’t wait for an ambulance to drive all the way around.”
The whole bridge and surrounding area is flooded out, and Creek County had a chance to fix it.
“The county will tell you it’s the city’s problem. City will tell you it’s the county. County will tell you it’s the Corps of Engineers,” said Richard Howerton.
According to Creek County Commissioner Leon Warner, the bridge that’s currently under water is brand new. The county had to dip into the emergency fund to fix it. The new bridge is about six feet higher than the old bridge, but still not high enough to be passable during this flood.
“It’ll flood again, but just get it open for Pete’s sake. Nine months is long enough,” said Fellingham.
Warner said the county only had so much money, so they couldn’t build a bridge that would never flood.
“It’s disheartening to wait this long, and then to be about three foot short of dirt on that new road. A couple truckloads of dirt,” said Fellingham. “Why couldn’t they raise it a little bit higher?”
Warner said the bridge that’s currently under water is extremely solid and he expects it to last a long time in spite of flood waters. However, he said it could be a month before the bridge is passable depending on how much rain falls.