Bixby tries to solve flooding problems

Thursday, August 25th 2005, 10:13 am
By: News On 6

Flooding is a fact of life in Bixby; the town has had many memorable floods over the years. But now it might finally be a thing of the past.

The federal government is paying to buy homes in the flood zone and build a new flood control system. As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, some Bixby homeowners are feeling a flood of relief.

“I’m glad this is happening, I've been waiting a long time." Dick Moore says if you live in his neighborhood in Bixby, you learn fast. "You learn to put everything up, up high." Moore moved into his house in 1985, just before one of the areas worst floods. “It’s not a fun thing to go through. I remember the first flood we were in '86, we had two feet in the house.”

And he says there have been at least a half-dozen other floods in the past 20 years. Some big, some small, but it's always on their minds. Some of the downtown businesses say that a couple of weeks ago, all it took was an inch and a half rain to get water up and over the sidewalks.

Now a $3.1-million grant will buy out Moore's house and 30 others and put more drainage ditches and retention ponds in their place and possibly, hopefully solve the flood problem once and for all. Bixby city planner Jimmy Coffey: “Y'know, there's always surprises, but the hydrology on it shows that this will greatly enhance the area and should remove a lot of water that's been a hazard for a number of years."

Even if it does, Moore won't have to worry about it or worry about how he would ever sell his house. "It's a big relief; it's a big burden off of me.”

The city has just now started the process of figuring out what each homeowner will get for their house, but they point out that all the residents have volunteered to take part in the program.