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Officials search for short and long-term Sand Springs levee solutions

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 22:41:48-04

SANS SPRINGS, OK (KJRH) — Just a week after officials requested the Army Corps of Engineers speed up their feasibility study on the Sand Springs levees, Governor Kevin Stitt and several Green Country mayors asked the same thing. Experts are currently working to finish that study as soon as possible to develop a long-term solution, and survey the levees to spot needs for short-term repairs.

"There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get it there," said Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith about the feasibility study, "and get the information we need to get it done correctly.”

The Army Corps of Engineers began the study last fall. The study usually lasts three years, but is on an abbreviated schedule. Officials with the corps say the study will be wrapped up early - by next fall at the soonest.

Until then, the county is looking for short-term patches to fix the damage of this spring’s flooding. Keith says experts are scanning every foot of the 20-mile levee system, trying to determine what fixes they need to prioritize.

The spring flooding could actually help speed up the long-term study. Brannen Parrish with the Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa district says the long period of water pressing against the levees allows experts to observe how the levees react to extended pressure.

“That taught us some lessons," Parrish said of the flooding, "and now we’ll be able to incorporate those lessons.”

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