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Water levels nearing dangerous heights

Posted at 4:49 PM, May 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-11 17:55:51-04

SAND SPRINGS, Okla — While driving it's easy to see that the water in the Arkansas river is extremely high.

But the system protecting us from all of this water is giving out.

The levees were built by the U.S Army in the 1940's to protect residents and industry in the area from flooding.

Unfortunately the levees are starting to wear out and are in need of repair.

1st District Congressman Kevin Hern visited District 12 today.

He says the district has a responsibility to protect everyone and everything near the levee system.

Kevin Hern tells us, "Most people think of infrastructure as road and bridges, but one of the biggest issues we have and again this gets played out when you see what's happening in the northern Mississippi River,

our levee systems are getting damaged. They're getting old. The pumps aren't working as well as they used to, they may not be high enough. The under cut and the erosion from the channels.

Tulsa's District 2 County Commissioner Karen Keith, who represents the Levee District, is pushing to make sure the levee stays resilient from rising waters.

Karen Keith said, "We are in the middle of a study right now and that will be done in about a year and a half, then we should have a plan in place and the federal government at that point will actually fund the project."

Keith says if the plan becomes reality, the federal government would fund 65 percent of the project, but will pay 100 percent up front.

This would mean the district would fund the rest of the project over a thirty year period.

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