Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Warning The Homeless As Water Levels Rise

Saturday, May 11th 2019, 9:20 pm
By: Erick Payne

Crews are trying to keep people safe from rising water, and one of those places is the Arkansas River Levee.

The Tulsa Fire Department says about 400 people live in homeless camps along the levee.
Now, the sheriff's office has a warning: get out before the water level rises even more.
They say most of them have already packed up and moved out, but there are still people who haven't left yet though.
News On 6 tagged along with a Tulsa County Sheriff's deputy as he was warning those living between the river and the levee to evacuate. 
"I'm going to go ahead and advise you all to move on out. 'Alright.' And I know this is a lot of stuff to pack up. 'When is it supposed to raise?' Well it raised last night and it's probably going to raise again tonight," said Tulsa County Sheriff;s Deputy Jeff Diven.
Hundreds of people live in homeless camps along the Arkansas River Levee. As severe flooding hits the lakes and rivers in Green Country, Deputy Diven and others are sweeping through the area to make sure everyone is out.
"We don't know how high these waters are going to rise, we want everyone to be safe, that's our main concern," said Diven."You've probably got four or five feet for it to come up and it'll soak the area we're standing on right now."
The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 72,000 cubic feet of water every second. They're expecting to bump that up to 85,000 on Monday, which they haven't had to do in 26 years.
 "We've been getting our boats and watercraft ready, in case anything does happen through the weekend, and tomorrow we'll get our ATV's and do patrols on those," said Corporal Donald Stach.
Cpl. Stach says during his career, they've never had to worry about evacuating the homeless people living here because of flooding. But now, many parts between the river and levee are already flooded, with more water expected in the next few days.

The sheriff's office says if you know anyone who's here along the Arkansas River, they'd like you to make sure they've evacuated.