Officials: Around 600 Tulsa, Oklahoma, Structures Swamped by Floodwaters

June 10, 2019

About 600 Tulsa County homes and business were inundated during last week’s historic flooding along the swollen Arkansas River, city officials said.

Joe Kralicek, executive director of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, said roughly half of the swamped structures were in the unincorporated Town and County addition west of Tulsa suburb Sand Springs, the Tulsa World reported.

Sand Springs was among the first communities flooded when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing more water from a dam upriver to control more severe flooding elsewhere.

Storm-weary Oklahomans were gutting waterlogged homes Sunday as the river continued its slow crest rolling hundreds of miles downstream. Arkansas residents were also bracing for record-breaking crests.

Arkansas River on Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Sand Springs, Okla. (Tom Gilbert/Tulsa World via AP)

Around 115 structures in Sand Springs were swamped by flooding. But Kralicek noted that homes in the city of Tulsa remained comparatively intact.

“Actually, the city of Tulsa is primarily (government) infrastructure damage,” Kralicek said. “We are going to be looking at the levee system, as far as repairs that need to be made to that, and River Parks and the Gathering Place. I know the (River Spirit) Casino on Riverside (Drive) has got damage, but for the most part the city of Tulsa did not have very much structural damage.”

TAEMA’s damage statistics were accumulated from information provided by municipalities and from assessments conducted by the agency. Some communities haven’t reported its damage, but Kralicek noted he is confident that the figures will not substantially change.

TAEMA will send its report to its state associates in addition to FEMA, which will use the information to assist in recovery preparation, including where to set up a disaster recovery center.

The location of the centers is likely to be announced soon, Kralicek added. He encouraged residents impacted by the flooding to apply for disaster aid.

Oklahoma officials say six people have died and 118 were injured in the severe weather this spring.

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