Tulsa's Aging Levee System Being Examined For Possible Repairs

Friday, July 6th 2018, 10:51 pm
By: Ashley Izbicki

Federal funding is on the way in an effort to repair Tulsa’s aging levee system. There have been major safety concerns for years and the city has been trying to get funding for a feasibility study for of the most worn-down levees

County Leaders say if the levees breach it would be catastrophic not just here in Tulsa but in Sand Springs, Jenks, and even as far as Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe confirmed $3 million from the Army Corps of Engineers will fully fund the study to figure out the long-term viability of Tulsa levees Tulsa levees. It’s about a 20 mile stretch protecting 10,000 people and $2 billion in property, including two refineries and a chemical plant.

The levees were built in the 1940’s, the city says the age of the levees isn’t concerning if they are properly maintained. However, these levees were built for a different time, before the construction of the keystone dam in the 1950’s.

"You know there's a certain level of flood water that the levee is built to protect people from and we want to make sure that's still in place and if it's not we want to come up with a list of alternatives to make sure that's put back in place," said Louis Vogele with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith says the total cost to repair the system could range from $34million to $90 million depending on the severity of the repairs needed.