Logjam Clean-Up Prevents More Damage

Wednesday, May 14th 2008, 10:39 pm
By: News On 6

Ice storm debris is still causing problems across Green Country, but despite the record spring rainfall, crews were able to finish a big clean-up job along a clogged creek. They successfully cleared a huge logjam along Bird Creek under Highway 75 near 66th Street North.

News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports crews got to the logjam just in time, because more rain could have added more debris to the pile.

With such a rainy spring, there's still the possibility of more debris in creeks and rivers all across the area.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says a logjam along Bird Creek was one of the worst they've seen. Logs backed up at least 250 feet, causing bank erosion. If left alone, it could eventually threaten the bridge.

"It was already piled up and it would have just kept stacking up higher," said Joey Oshman of K & R Builders.

Rainy weather was a challenge.  The water got to 24 feet deep. It was a good thing crews started when they did.

"If we hadn't got that much done, when this flood came, they could have had a lot more damage," said Oshman.

Crews hauled away dozens of loads of debris and reinforced the banks with rock.

Even with the project along Bird Creek finished, there are still plenty of reminders of the December ice storm.  Floating debris is always a concern on Oklahoma lakes, rivers and creeks.

Years of drought and an ice storm weakened trees, which were later flushed down the Verdigris River all at once. With heavy rain this spring and still so much ice storm debris, it could happen again, posing a hazard as summer approaches and it being boating and recreation season.

It cost the state $289,000 dollars to clean-up the logjam. The project was finished 21 days ahead of schedule.

The early finish earned the contractor an additional 51,000 dollars.