Corps Of Engineers Hopes To Reduce Keystone Outflow Levels

Wednesday, May 29th 2019, 11:53 am
By: News On 6

UPDATE:  The Corps of engineers started reducing the flow from Keystone Dam. The first steps in reducing flooding through Sand Springs, Tulsa, and downstream.

The Tulsa Area Management Agency (TAEMA), Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe and city and county officials held a news conference at 11 a.m. for an update on flooding in the Tulsa area.

Inhofe has been touring flooded areas around Tulsa and Sand Springs. He shared federal disaster resources available to Oklahomans.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the river flow will be reduced to 150,000 cfs by Saturday and even further next week, reducing pressure on the levees.

There were no new issues with the levees overnight. There were two dozen people evacuated Tuesday evening in west Tulsa. Power was shut off to an area due to the high water.

Related Story: PSO Shuts Off Power From West 36th To West 37th Street In Tulsa 

Keystone crested Tuesday, and so they can start reducing outflow levels. 

The reduction will go in steps. That will allow the entire system to drain, but it will take some time. They hope the river will be back within its banks by sometime next week.

On Tuesday, Mayor G.T. Bynum urged residents who live in the areas that would be affected by levees failing to evacuate. He said while it is not an emergency situation at this time because the levees are holding - it is safer for people to evacuate voluntarily.

Bynum also said that although they have been patient with people trying to see the historic flooding, citizens need to stay away from the levee areas and River Parks. Tulsa Police will begin to cite people who are not going beyond barriers and safety tape at the park.

Related Story: Tulsa Officials Urge Citizens To Stay Away From River Parks, Levee Areas 

Erosion is making the River Parks area extremely dangerous, Sgt. Shane Tuell said. He said people are ignoring the barriers and getting into the water where there are snakes and sewage. 

Tuell also said they are patrolling the homes of people who have done the right thing and have evacuated their homes voluntarily.  Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is also patrolling the areas to watch for looters, Commissioner Karen Keith said.