Crews Scramble To Rebuild Levee In West Tulsa

Friday, May 24th 2019, 7:27 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing nearly 255,000 cubic feet per second from Keystone Dam. Parts of Tulsa are still at risk for flooding as the Arkansas River is overflowing its banks.

A leaking levee put parts of Tulsa's west side in danger Thursday night. Crews worked throughout the night to build a new levee near West 36th Street and South Elwood. It saved a lot of the land and homes nearby.

An emergency scramble of construction crews hard at work in West Tulsa, after a levee protecting parts of town, started to leak.

Tulsa Police first called it in late Thursday night in the Garden City neighborhood when the levee started to wash out. So Chris Cornell and his construction crew were called in.

"We brought in dozers, we had two dozers here actually and two of our rollers here, and I believe we had about 30 dump trucks bringing in dirt," said Chris Cornell, Crossland Construction.

Related Story: Stay Out Of Arkansas Flood Waters, City Of Tulsa Says 

They also had a lot of workers.

Throughout the night and into this morning, crews completely rebuilt the levee, reinforcing it so water couldn't get through.

"We brought it in and had to put it in in layers and compacted it and had it tested," Cornell said.

And that's welcome news to the people and businesses on the other side of it. A trucking business has moved their employees to a different location.

And Wes Branstetter manages a soccer complex directly below it.

"It impacts us obviously significantly, but we're obviously more worried about the people who live over here," said Wes Branstetter.

Branstetter says they're now just playing the waiting game, as more water continues to flow just feet from their fields.