Tulsa benefits from flood control investment
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – With the Arkansas River running high and muddy, Tulsans don’t have to fear spring flooding like they did in the past.
While no city is completely safe from flooding, the city is far better off than it was in 1984.
The city was number one in the nation for flooding disasters when the Memorial Day flood to 14 lives and injured 288, with $125 million in damage.
After 7,700 homes in 84 Tulsa started a huge flood control project with major funding and help from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Now this city only has 2,000 homes in the 100-year flood plain thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in spending.
Those who went through the big flood aren’t anxious to see another.
At D&M Firestone in south Brookside, owner Bill Scott watched the water seep into his auto shop that was loaded with electrical equipment.
He watched and wondered home much of his business he’d lose.
Scott said, "You begin to think how much more is coming. How deep is it’s gonna get what do I prepare for and that’s just the unknown. The unknown is always frightening."
Fortunately, the water didn’t do major damage and his shop became a safe place for a neighbor’s furniture.
Thousands of other Tulsans weren't as lucky, because the city was hit with fifteen inches of rain in one day.
We’re much safer these days, because many of the lakes and soccer fields we see along our roadsides are actually detention ponds.