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West Tulsa residents blame highway construction for floodwater damage

West Tulsa floodwater damage
Posted at 8:55 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 16:57:44-04

TULSA, Okla. — Pockets of West Tulsa neighborhoods sustained heavy floodwater damage, Monday. The area was hit by hard rainfall in the morning, but neighbors say rain is not the only culprit.

"I just want answers," Clint Holler of Tulsa said.

"Somebody needs to do something about this runoff or it’s going to happen again," Larry Crain of Crain's Body Shop in West Tulsa said.

Crain told 2 News the floodwaters infiltrated his auto body shop and overturned paint cans and destroyed his electrical tools. He said the shop, which his grandfather started in the 1940s and he has owned for the last 40 years, has never been flooded like this before.

"When they started building that I knew that was going to happen because there's drainage behind me and that drainage has got to go somewhere," Crain said.

"From my perspective it didn't have to happen," Holler told 2 News hours after, he said, his parents' house sat under four feet of standing water. "The fire department was ready to pull them out of the house."

The 50-year family home survived severe structural damage, but the flash flood warning signs went off for Holler months ago. He said construction on Highway 75 and Interstate 244 obstructs downstream flow on Moser Creek. He told 2 News, he reached out to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and other agencies to reconsider the construction project plan.

"I don't want anything," Holler said. "I just want someone to come out and say, 'We screwed up.'"

An ODOT spokesperson told a 2 News reporter, Monday's flash flooding was not caused by highway construction. The spokesperson said Moser Creek is prone to flooding and water backup during excessive rainfall.

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