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Tulsa County getting federal funds to improve levee system

The funding is coming from two new laws
Workers working on the Tulsa-West Tulsa levee system
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 19:45:36-05

TULSA, Okla. — The levee system in Tulsa is receiving $137.4 million in federal funding for future repairs and reconstruction.

The Biden administration revealed their plan to distribute $22.8 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers to fund up to hundreds of projects on Wednesday. The funding is coming from two recently enacted laws, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the $137.4 million coming to Tulsa will pay to improve the "resiliency" of the levee system. Part of the funding will attempt to reduce the risks to residents and potential property damage from future flooding.

Local leaders gave their statements about the funding:

Sen. Jim Inhofe

“After years and years of work, I am incredibly proud to announce that the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levees Project is fully funded. With this funding from the Army Corps, we can finish modernizing and upgrading the levees from the unacceptable version we began with to levees that will protect our children and our children’s children. This has been a priority of mine for as long as I can remember and I am grateful for the tireless work of Army Corps Chief of Engineers Lt. General Spellmon, his predecessor Lt. General Semonite, as well as Brig. Gen. Beck, Col. Preston and their staff. I also want to thank District 2 Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith and District 12 Levee Commissioner Todd Kilpatrick for their years of work—they have been in the trenches with me on this for more than a decade. This is a very good day to be a Tulsan.”

District 12 Levee Commissioner Todd Kilpatrick

“I couldn’t believe the amazing news that, after years in the making, the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levees project is fully funded. Inhofe has spent years working alongside us to make this project a reality and I will not soon forget his efforts. By prioritizing the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levees and remembering what is important to Oklahoma, we have made sure Tulsans are safe from floods for many years into the future.”

District 2 Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith

“I’m pinching myself….Senator Inhofe has been our lead advocate to rebuild the levees. He called last night to let me know that our project is fully funded by the Corps. I was speechless for the first time in my life. I’m grateful for his tireless efforts to fix this life safety issue for our region. We all know the fragility of the levee after the Flood in 2019. A heroic effort by the Corps, the Levee District, the National Guard, and local law enforcement kept it intact. The Citizens of Tulsa County have benefited on numerous occasions by Senator Inhofe’s work to bring infrastructure dollars to Tulsa. My heartfelt thanks go to the Senator and his talented staff.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum

“I want to thank Senator Inhofe and our entire delegation for making this a priority following the historic flooding in our city. In 2019, our levee system was on the verge of collapsing, but with this funding, our levee system will be fully functional and help protect our residents and community from the potential of flooding for generations to come.”

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