Army Corps Doing What They Can To Prevent Flooding

Friday, April 21st 2017, 5:36 pm
By: News On 6

The Army Corps of Engineers is doing its part to keep flooding at a minimum during this severe weather season.

Friday, they abruptly shut off the water release at Oologah dam. The levels at the dam are high right now and Army Corps representatives say it's important to make adjustments, but keeping people who live downstream takes precedence.

When the water is rushing fast, conditions can get dangerous.

In Oologah, the water is rising out of Fourmile Creek, and the storm drains and ditches are flowing.

Getting large amounts of water to flow out is Mother Nature’s job, but the Army Corps of Engineers does what it can to help make it easier.

"We do not make pre-releases of water prior to an event because you just don't know where the rain is going to fall and how much for how long," said BJ Parkey with the Army Corps.

In the days leading up to this big storm system that dropped water around the area, the levels in Oologah Lake had been about two feet too high.

The Army Corps was letting water out of Oologah dam because of high water, but when they found out about the flash flooding they immediately shut it off.

Parkey said, "In order to help prevent downstream flooding, we are going to start backing off our discharge so we're not flooding those guys out. Now, consequently it is going to create some localized flooding around our lakes - Oologah Lake - which primarily will affect our recreation areas, but it will protect our downstream residents."

Parkey said any flooding from the storm system likely won't be major.

He said the Army Corps is continuing to monitor the downstream water flow; once that clears out they'll open the gates again to get the water levels down.

Army Corps representatives said it's important to get the water levels back down at the lake since recreation season is right around the corner.