Creek Erosion Problem

Thursday, May 3rd 2007, 6:00 pm
By: News On 6

This week's rainfall is adding to an erosion problem on a leg of Joe Creek in Tulsa. There are a couple of blocks of houses that back up to the creek, and The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports those homes are all slowly losing ground to the creek. Eighty-six year old Marion Wilkerson has a problem in her back yard that her husband and neighbor had worked on for 30 years.

"And they couldn't get anyplace and finally they said it wouldn't be done in their lifetime, and they're both dead now, and I said it would be in mine," she said.

The creek has washed away 16-feet of her back yard, undermining trees and a natural gas line. But just downstream it flows through a concrete channel into Joe Creek. The city did the work, but ran out of money before they could finish the job.

There are a lot of projects like this that get delayed when money runs out on a bond issue. They're supposed to go to the top of the next bond issue, but that's a delay that can take several years. And the latest delay has left about a dozen homes with an erosion problem that's getting worse.

"We were told if you fix it halfway, where the creek goes up, it will erode even faster and that's what's happened," resident Liz Pounds said.

The creek in the neighborhood is the north fork of Little Joe Creek. The south end of it was improved back in 2001, the north end is where the yards are washing away. The city says it would take $300,000 to finish the job, but there wasn't enough money in the original budget to finish the job.

"And they always say, wait until the next bond issue. And I'm still waiting," said Wilkerson.

Mrs. Wilkerson has been waiting 30 years and now the city says it won't be fixed for at least another five, the next time there's a bond issue without a long list of more important projects.

Watch the Video: Creek Erosion Leaving Surrounding Property In Danger