1986 flood: Arkansas River crested at 25.2 feet leaving $63.5 million in damage in Tulsa County

Posted at 5:48 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 18:48:37-04

TULSA - The City of Tulsa commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Arkansas River flooding in 1986 with a high water mark sign Monday.

The sign was placed at Cousins Park.

According to a city spokesperson, more than 20 inches of rain fell in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas in late September and early October 1986, causing Keystone Lake to fill to capacity.

In an attempt to to keep Keystone Dam from overflowing, the Corps of Engineers opened the floodgates on Oct. 4 and released water downstream at 2.2 million gallons per second. 

The Arkansas River flooded its banks in Sand Springs, Tulsa, Jenks and Bixby.

On Oct. 5, 1986, the river crested in Tulsa at its highest level ever, at 25.21 feet. Thousands of properties were flooded, causing $63.5 million in damages in Tulsa County ($137.4 million in 2016 dollars).

RELATED: History of flooding in Tulsa since 1908

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