Sand Springs Levee Still At Risk Of Sudden Flooding

Thursday, May 30th 2019, 9:51 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Sand Springs residents in Town and Country have the deepest water of any neighborhood in Tulsa County, but for them and folks downstream, the level is dropping.

That's relieved some of the pressure on the levee, but not enough yet to eliminate the danger of sudden flooding. 

County officials say as long as the levee is saturated, it's at risk, so the National Guard and first responders will stay in position for a quick response.

On the river side of the levee in the Charles Page neighborhood, the high water mark is now a couple of feet from the level of the water - the result of the Corps turning down the output of Keystone Dam - holding water in the lake, to reduce the flow downstream.

It's a gradual reduction, to let water drain out of the levee, slowly.  Todd Kilpatrick, the Tulsa County Levee Commissioner said that's to prevent a collapse of the bank into the river.

The Arkansas will drop away from the levee, and return to the channel once the flow returns to about 100,000 CFS - a target now possible by Monday.

"We're stable right now" said Kilpatrick, who noted some homes on the north bank of the river are still surrounded by water, where 12 portable pumps are working to clear out standing water behind the levee.

Related Story: Families In Sand Springs Looking For Some Place To Go 

Several streets are still flooded, and blocked off, but it's nowhere near the level of flooding on the South side of the river, which doesn't have the protection of a levee.

Once the water level drops, the County will go in to assess the damage to the levee.

"I think there's going to be some damage. You put that much water up on something, there's going to be some damage" said Kilpatrick.