Tulsa Police Asking Citizens To Stop Hanging Out At Riverparks
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa police say they're having a huge problem with people hanging out at the Riverparks, even though many areas are closed due to flooding.
One officer says he ran off 20 people on Wednesday, including a mom with five kids and a teenage girl on an electric scooter. Police say people don't appreciate how fast the water moves or how much debris is out there and it's creating a safety hazard.
Police say they understand most people have never seen the river like this and are curious but they say, people, need to stay away from those areas that are closed and stay away from the water's edge.
"It's misleading and it can look fairly calm and there can be an undercurrent under there that's very strong and can whip a man away very quickly," said TPD Officer Greg Comfort.
He also warns of how dirty the water is. It is filled with debris like large logs and possibly chemicals and other contaminants. He says the water levels are changing constantly.
"It's in a state of flux, up this hour or two hours, then down, then up again. The best, safest move is just stay clear of the areas barricaded off and not come out here so you don't have to worry about it for the time being," said Officer Comfort.
In addition to playgrounds being partly under water at 41st and Riverside, the basketball courts at Gathering Place, a mile north are underwater and Riverside Drive itself is closed to drivers from 31st to 21st.
Police say sight-seers who get into trouble, then pull first responders away from other emergencies, so they will be writing tickets.
"We need to get the message across to people there is a penalty for coming down and moving past barricades. They're there for a reason and you have to know that," said Officer Comfort.
So, if you get caught out in the Riverparks that are closed, you're going to get a ticket and you have to go before a judge to see what happens next.