Estimated 2,000 Homes Damaged In Tulsa County Flooding

Friday, May 31st 2019, 8:45 pm

Tulsa County says no major issues have been reported in the last 24 hours on the levee - just small repairs. Neighborhoods in Tulsa and Sand Springs are draining, some on their own, while some behind the levee are being pumped out.

Along the levee at 77th West Ave., the water dropped significantly in just the past 24 hours. It was pumped out and over the levee.

On the river side - the water was down - several feet down, on the levee.

 "We're not taking our foot off the gas pedal yet; we're still going full force trying to repair and protect the levees best we can," said Chief Deputy County Commisioner John Fothergill.

In Cherry Hills - on the West side, families moved back in. Bo Rickman was out of his house 5 days - after an urgent evacuation with water rising through storm drains.

"I knew I had about 4 hours to get my house empty so I was just throwing it in the U-Haul, that way I could keep it mobile," said Bo Rickman.

The water didn't reach inside his home, but flooded the streets, and was close enough the power was turned off as a precaution. The electricity was turned back on this morning - and Rickman says the flood has changed his neighborhood.

"It's actually brought us closer together. We were all in the same catastrophic boat," he said.

Related Story:  Sand Springs Levee Still At Risk Of Sudden Flooding 

Back along the levee, though the danger is passing, the National Guard remains on duty, watching the levee around the clock. 

"I don't want anyone to think we're in the clear," said Mayor G.T. Bynum, "until that lake has its flood capacity restored so it can handle major rain events upstream."

Emergency managers expect the water on the levee to drop below the danger zone over the weekend.     

They're asking people to document and report their losses, as the federal government considers help for individuals. It might, or might not be coming - but regardless would take several months to receive.

Emergency Manager Joe Kralicek said, "Don't wait on FEMA. You need to take any actions you can right now. If you have the means to begin recovery on your own, I suggest you do that."

The emergency managers encourage people to photograph damage and keep receipts. Damage assessments will start next week and for now the County estimates as many as 2,000 homes were either damaged or inaccessible during the flooding.

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