Neighborhood Concerned About Flooding

Wednesday, May 7th 2008, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

The rainfall has a Broken Arrow neighborhood worried about flooding.  People who live near Adams Creek say it's rising more and more each day.  News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports the creek is normally three feet wide but lately it's pushing 35 feet.  Residents say ice storm debris is causing a major backup and they're worried for their safety.

"It's almost totally blocked down there. We've got a real challenge in that area," said Lee Ann Martin, who lives nearby.

Adams Creek is on the rise.

"Before the rain it's normally from two to five feet wide," said Lee Ann Martin.  "The rainstorm before the last one, it came up to my fencepost, right here."

There are 35 feet from Lee Ann Martin's backyard to the creek.  So, why does this creek continue to get bigger and bigger every day? 

Martin says the normal brush that falls from trees is part of the problem.  But the bigger issue, she says, is more fallout from last December's ice storm.

"Huge limbs and trees and debris and bushes. Eventually they have got to get it cleared out because when it starts damming up it gets pushed back," said Lee Ann Martin.

Jeff Bigby with the City of Broken Arrow says the city plans to remove the storm debris to help unclog the creek.  But, they won't be able to get to it until the bank dries up allowing the heavy equipment to reach the area.

Martin says another reason for the rising water is new development in Broken Arrow.  She says residents have noticed a change in the way storm water runs off since a Lowe's and several restaurants opened less than a mile from the neighborhood.

The city says that's a misconception.

"There is already an existing detention facility that has been built out there several years ago. It will handle the storm water runoff from the new development upstream," said Broken Arrow's storm water manager Jeff Bigby.

Whatever the reason, Martin hopes the clogged creek gets attention before it gets worse.

"It's really a disaster," said Lee Ann Martin.

The city doesn't know when it will be able to start work clearing the creek; again the crews can't get back there until the ground is dry.  The city says this is another example, five months later, of just how much trouble that December ice storm caused.