Corps monitoring lake levels and releasing floodwater

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 19:26:57-04

TULSA -- Northeast Oklahoma continues to see heavy rain and flash flood warnings all across our area.

As a result, floodgates are open at several dams here in Oklahoma, but the Army Corps of Engineers said this is a normal event for the Tulsa District.

It’s a stunning sight to see the Keystone Dam releasing water because of heavy rainfall.

“I think it's good. I think we need it. The farmers need it. I think it's a good thing," said Tim Moore, a Mannford Resident.

"The lake was pretty low. I mean it was, so yeah it's pretty awesome," said Christa Hill, another Mannford Resident who came to see the floodgates open.

The corps says 170,000 gallons of water is rushing out of the Keystone Dam floodgates every second.

“Right now we've got quite a bit of space both in our reservoirs and in the Arkansas River itself,” said Scott Henderson, of Army Corps of Engineers.

Henderson and his team are monitoring the heavy rainfall with radar and stream gauge data.

“We have a very very robust network of gauges that will tell us how much water is going to be coming into Keystone in the next few days,” said Henderson.

He said lakes in the Tulsa District have plenty of capacity to hold flood waters.

“It is definitely a balancing act because what happens at Keystone, what happens at Kaw, what happens at Oologah. All this area they're interconnected," said Henderson.

Henderson said there are a few lakes in Southeast Oklahoma that could use some rainfall.
It’s also rare to see the Arkansas River full of water.

“When it's full and windy it's beautiful," said Hill.

The Tulsa Army Corps of Engineers said they anticipate closing flood gates at the Keystone Dam.

The corps is reminding people to stay on alert this weekend around the dams because flash flooding events can occur hours after a storm passes through.

Click here to see real time lake levels from the Army Corps of Engineers



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