Every flood is unique and meets our community at unique point in its development.
Many are comparing this flood to the one in 1986 however, our river flow is slightly different and new development has changed the way water flows into our watershed. Our flood also differs from the 1986 flood meteorologically-speaking.
It was caused by a the stalled remnants of Hurricane Paine. Our current flood is caused by a series of moisture-laden storms producing run-off beyond the capacity of our watershed.
It’s similar though in that it once again is testing our infrastructure along the Arkansas River.
This levee I stand upon is a saving grace to the neighborhood behind me.
In 1986, our river grew to menacing levels and was considered beyond a 100-year flood, meaning, there’s a 1% chance in any given year to have a flood that extensive. In fact, at Cousin’s Park at 121st in Yale stands the high water mark.
As far as we know, water has yet to reach that sign, but our flood isn’t done yet and our forecast calls for additional rain upstream.
We have yet to see if this flood will be considered a 100-year flood or beyond, but a 100-year flood can certainly happen not long after another one.
So what does this mean for you? You must know your flood risk as a starting point to staying safe. This is certainly a wake-up call to us that river flooding must be taken seriously. To view the official City of Tulsa floodplain designations, click here.