Levee Concerns Continue With Increased Release Rate From Keystone Dam
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Army Corps of Engineers increased the release rate from Keystone Dam Monday morning which will put more pressure on levees in west Tulsa.
Emergency officials say the levees are still holding up and there haven't been any breaches, but they are still encouraging people to take precautions.
The release rate right now is at 275,000 CFS. The current plan is to stay at that rate through Thursday, but more rain in the forecast could change things very quickly.
Tulsa county's chief deputy commissioner says the levees are still holding up and no breaches have happened at this point. He says while the county is not expecting a catastrophic failure, he says that is a possibility.
Chief Deputy Commissioner John Fothergill says the levees have never held this much water for such a long period of time, so they are concerned about what they'll be able to handle. First responders are staging in West Tulsa and Sand Springs if any emergencies come up.
100 national guard soldiers are also watching around the clock. Fothergill says they're checking for any little problem that could come up.
"What we're doing right now is walking the levees constantly, 24 hours a day monitoring for any hotspots where we see any kind of water penetration coming through," said Fothergill.
Emergency management officials are urging people to evacuate and they can stay at one of the city's open shelters at Cross Town Church of Christ located at 3400 East Admiral Place and Faith Church at 1901 West 171st Street in Glenpool.
Mayor Bynum says Tulsa Transit buses are available to take people to those shelters on either Gilcrease Museum Road or near Cameron Street and 41st West Avenue.
They say they'll use the emergency alert system to let people know about any possible problems.
Tulsa Emergency Management sent out this release Monday morning: