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Muskogee County dissolves floodplain board

Posted at 5:43 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 19:28:06-04

MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Okla. -- Muskogee County commissioners dissolve a floodplain board due to a high volume of requests from the Spring flood.

"When you’ve got bad and then you have a good day, boy you appreciate that good day I promise you," said Mike Ogle, a resident of Fort Gibson.

One of those good days is coming to Mike Ogle of Fort Gibson, as crews work to put up sheet rock in his house which had more than eight feet of flood water.

"You have a bigger sense of accomplishment, you’re getting walls up, not just two by fours," said Ogle.

Ogle worries about his elderly neighbors and their next steps in repairing their homes. Hundreds of families lost everything during the historic flooding in the Spring in Muskogee County. The high volume is causing an overflow of permit requests to rebuild to the county floodplain board.

"They’re coming from all over the county and so they would need to meet almost daily to handle the volume of floodplain permits we’re dealing with now," said Ken Doke, Muskogee County Commissioner District One.

Commissioner Doke says the floodplain board typically handles a few requests a month, but with nearly 900 structures suffering from damage, the requests came pouring in.

"Every day that we’re not approving a flood permit, those people are still displaced so we’re just trying to do everything in our power to get those people back in their homes," said Doke.

Commissioners decided to dissolve the board made up of volunteers, and handed the responsibility of approving requests to the Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith, who's also the floodplain administrator.

"He’s very familiar with the people that have flooded and also very aware of the permitting process and also the requirements that FEMA has for issuing those floodplain permits," said Doke.

Commissioner Doke says they may reassemble the board once the volume of requests decreases.

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