TULSA — Tulsa City officials on Friday morning addressed the beginning of the recovery process after flooding in the area across the last 10 days.
Emergency management officials held a news conference at 11 a.m., which is available in the video player above.
The Arkansas River fell into the "minor" flood stage at about 7 a.m. Friday morning, according to data from the National Weather Service.
The river is estimated to be just below 20 feet in Tulsa, which is down two feet since Thursday morning, because the amount of water released from Keystone Dam is gradually decreasing. The amount of water released from the dam is being lowered every six hours.
Read the latest update from the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency below:
(Tulsa, OK) – The Keystone Dam release rate is gradually decreasing and at 11 am. this morning, the release rate from Keystone Dam is 190,000 cubic feet per second. The levee system continues to be the primary focus for emergency personnel as the levee system is oversaturated with water and has been holding historic levels of water for more than a week. The levee system continues to be monitored 24/7. Residents living behind the levees and evacuees from behind the levees need to remain vigilant.
The flooding threat along the Arkansas River remains as the water is still out of its banks in certain areas. Listen to first responders in your area, monitor updates from TAEMA, and stay plugged into your local media.
Damage assessments will begin once the flood water recedes throughout Tulsa county. The damage assessment process is one aspect of the recovery cycle, and TEAMA expects this to be a lengthy process. TEAMA will work with state and federal officials to get residents the help they need as quickly as possible while being mindful these areas are still flood zones.
In neighborhoods with receding floodwaters, inspections will be made before allowing residents back to their homes. During this period, law enforcement will continue to patrol those neighborhoods until residents have returned.
Residents inquiring about when they will be allowed to go back to their homes should be aware of the re-entry process. Neighborhoods that are cleared for re-entry will be shared on the City of Tulsa’s social media sites and website, as well as through local media outlets. Residents will be asked for identification from law enforcement upon arrival so that officers can vet those requesting to enter the reopened area.
Residents re-entering evacuated neighborhoods should remain vigilant as they are allowed back to their homes. Residents should ask any contractor for their credentials as well as contact information for their company’s home office. There will be many unfamiliar workers in these neighborhoods – these workers will not use aggressive behavior or language with residents nor will they ask for any form of payment for their services. Police will be in these neighborhoods and should be alerted if residents see this happening.
Volunteer Opportunities and Cleanup Efforts
The Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency is seeking volunteers to assist with cleanup operations at the Town and Country neighborhood at 145th and Highway 51 from June 1-2, from 8 a.m. to dark.
Volunteers should show up wearing boots and heavy leather work gloves. Anyone who comes without these will be turned away.
It’s strongly advised volunteers have tetanus shots prior to volunteering. Residents can receive tetanus shots from the Tulsa Health Department at any of their immunization locations or Tulsa Health Department will be at Town and Country tomorrow from 9 a.m. – noon for residents and volunteers who want tetanus shots on site.
Cleanup efforts will start in affected homes beginning with interior item removal like furniture, bedding and other normal interior contents. Mud, muck and silt deposits will need to be shoveled out and thrown away. Then drywall, sheetrock, insulation and any electric materials that were covered with water will need to be removed. Volunteers and homeowners will have to scrub, clean and bleach the homes. Once everything has been removed, the doors and windows to the home will need to be left open for them to dry out and fans used if you have them.
Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) and Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) have established a Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations which are providing services and support to residents of eastern Oklahoma affected by recent
flooding and weather events. Donations can be made securely at www.TulsaCF.org/2019storms [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].
Donations by check should be made payable to Tulsa Community Foundation and include: “Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma” in the memo of the check. Mail checks to Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 S. Yale Ave., Suite 600, Tulsa, Okla., 74136. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Storm Victim Protection
Storm victim’s insurance cannot be cancelled for the next 30 days. A bulletin issued by Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready on May 24, 2019 to all insurance companies directs them to keep coverage in effect for storm victims for the next 30 days. This applies to Oklahomans who have insurance residing in the affected zip codes [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].
The bulletin addresses health maintenance organizations, accident and health insurers, third party administrators, discount medical plan organizations, property and casualty insurers, surplus and excess lines insurers and county mutual insurers. It includes property and casualty insurance, life insurance, accident and health insurance, disability insurance and all lines of coverage regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
Some key points of the bulletin are:
• All coverage for storm victims shall continue under all insurance policies for the next 30 days.
• Storm victims can get a copy of their insurance policy free of charge.
• Any rate increases for policies in the affected areas filed on or after the effective date of the bulletin will be deferred.
Currently, the Red Cross is encouraging evacuees to its shelter at Faith Church, 1901 West 171st St. in Glenpool. The Red Cross shelter at Crosstown Church of Christ, 3400 E. Admiral Place, is at capacity. Levee evacuation transportation routes have ended, and buses will be used in the coming days for resident reentry when evacuated neighborhoods are deemed safe.
For animals, a temporary shelter at Tulsa Expo Square Fairground Pavilion (south entrance) is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The temporary pet shelter at the Fairgrounds is accepting pet food, blankets and towels. For large animal shelter requests, please contact 211. Animal rescue assistance requests can be made by calling Tulsa Animal Welfare at (918) 596-8000, press option 6, beginning at 9 a.m.
Residents in Tulsa County with questions or concerns related to the flooding event or evacuations can call 211. 211 is also equipped to take damage assessments and answer questions about donations to those affected by the floods. As of yesterday, the 211 Center has taken more than 2,000 calls and continue to staff up to handle the additional load.
PSO will be notified to restore power to areas that were disconnected when authorities deem neighborhoods safe. As of 11 a.m., residents in the Cherry Hill area are returning home. Wind River residents who self-evacuated returned home yesterday. PSO is working to restore power to the area east of Garden City. Candlestick Beach in Tulsa County returned home.
If you requested PSO to disconnect your service, call PSO to begin the reconnection process. If authorities requested your disconnection, an inspection may be necessary. If you have any questions about whether an inspection is necessary for your electrical system and weather heads, call PSO at (888) 218-3919. Beware of scammers that want to inspect your home and do not have any city identification, vehicles or other verification. To ensure the electrician you are hiring is licensed, visit: cibverify.ok.gov/clients/okcib/public/licenseesearch/licenseesearch.aspx [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].
Police continue to urge people to not drive around barricades. These barricades are put up for the safety of everyone. River Parks and The Gathering Place remains closed. This area should be avoided, has unstable ground and any attempt to drive around barricades, especially in this area, is dangerous and puts your life and the lives of our first responders at risk.
Residents are advised to stay away from floodwater and standing waters as they can be dangerous. Floodwaters can contain harmful debris, sewage and snakes. The Tulsa Health Department is offering tetanus shots at no cost at any of its immunization clinics during normal working hours. For hours and locations, call (918)-582-9355. You can also visit www.tulsa-health.org/flood-safety [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com], which contains a multitude of resources, including information about our no-cost tetanus shots, floodwater precautions, tips for safely re-entering your home, and recommendations for food establishments.
In the aftermath of a traumatic event, such as a flood or tornado damage, the initial focus is on the physical impact of property. As time goes on, the emotional impact begins to surface. It is critically important Oklahomans are able to access care and assistance for their physical and mental health during these difficult times in our state. Mental Health Association Oklahoma and their partners stand ready to help in their recovery. For more information visit https://mhaok.org/ [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com].
Flooding continues to impact roads in the Tulsa metro. For local road closures, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/rivermaps [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]. For highway closure information, visit: www.okroads.org [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com], with a complete list of closures at www.odot.org [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]
Follow the City of Tulsa on Twitter @cityoftulsagov and visit www.cityoftulsa.org [gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com] for updates. Live feeds from news conferences are available on the City of Tulsa Gov Facebook.
The City of Tulsa website has a Google translator that can translate all web pages in more than 121 languages. The City of Tulsa is also adding translations of this briefing in various languages to the City’s Facebook page when available.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.