Some Tulsa Residents Choosing To Stay Put Despite Flood Risks

Monday, May 27th 2019, 10:41 pm
By: Erick Payne

First responders in Tulsa are encouraging people living behind the levees to evacuate and many are, but several who are waiting it out.

Kathey Simmons, her family, and friends have kept an eye out from their porch. They've watched as their neighbors have packed up and moved out one by one. 

"We just sit here and say, they're leaving, they're packed, they're leaving. We're not," said Simmons.

Simmons told me since it's not mandatory there's no need for them to worry just yet.

"I'm not going, they can't make me. I'm serious, I'm not going to leave," she said.

They've seen officers patrolling the neighborhood encouraging those living here to evacuate. And they've been told if there is a breach, the water will come rushing in.

"I'm not leaving until I see it coming up the road," said Simmons.

Around the corner, David Manes and his friend Gizmo aren't leaving either.

"I'm concerned, if I thought the levee was going to break, I'd get out of here," said Manes.

But even he doesn't think it's come to that. Manes has lived here for 60 years in his house through the flood of 1986. He says if he made it through that flood, he'll survive this one.

"Well, if it happens it happens," he said.

Of course, Manes, Simmons and everyone else is hoping it doesn't happen. They're just ready for life to go back to normal.

"To be honest, we're sick of the sirens. That's all we've been hearing for a week now is sirens. I know they have to warn people and I'm glad they are, especially the tornado, but man I've never seen it like this before so many sirens in one week," said Simmons.

If there is a breach flood sirens will sound, and first responders in the neighborhood will make announcements, but that will be the absolute last minute to evacuate. That's why they're encouraging people to leave now.