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Multiple Tulsa intersections face flooding problems in the wake of storms

City of Tulsa studying flood prone intersections
Posted at 4:14 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 19:17:10-04

TULSA, Okla. — When it rains, people who commute through 43rd and Sheridan know to prepare for the worst.

"We have what we call Lake Sheridan out in front of our store and have a whole bunch of people trying to get through and they end up getting bogged down because they don't realize how deep it is," said Nathan Scott with Vape This.

It's a similar story at 31st and Yale, where some homeowners have faced flooding for decades.

"The water gets kind of deep. I have seen a number of people get stuck in it, and the water is up to like the boards of the car. It has just been... well this past rain... it was just a mess," Charlet Ball said.

Tulsa's director of streets and storm water said these are two of the most problematic areas, along with 81st and Elwood as well as 12th and N Lewis.

Although the storm water department patrols these areas, they don't respond until getting a call from first responders who see problems.

"Anytime you start closing it restricts traffic flow where people, especially police and fire when they're trying to go to other locations... they'll have to re-route to a different method of getting to where they need to be. On those as soon as know the water is starting to rise we put the barricades up," director Terry Ball.

Currently this intersection is being studied by the city's engineering team to learn why flooding is so frequent, but funding could be the next problem.

"Designing it and figuring it out is one issue they do but then just getting the capital funding to go in and do it because a lot of the time they're fairly large projects that need to be done to remedy some of those storm issues," Ball said.

The city tells us in case of storms they do make sure trucks, barricades, and employees are ready before severe weather hits.

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