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Battle brewing between Oklahoma towns on how to handle flood control

6 SEN. INHOFE PUSH FOR HIGHER LEVELS PKG.transfer_frame_3055.jpg
After the historic flooding in May, Miami is trying to change how officials control floodwaters, but places like Wagoner want the power to stay in the hands of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Friday, August 30, 2019 (KTUL)

GREEN COUNTRY, Okla. (KTUL) -- Towns hit hard by May's flooding downstream of the Pensacola Dam are in a battle with a town upstream.

Miami is trying to change how officials control floodwaters, but places like Wagoner want the power to stay in the hands of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Miami is just a few miles north of Grand Lake and has dealt with flooding for decades.

The town wants to take control and lower the levels of Grand Lake to combat more flooding and help the town rebuild.

"I don't want a community at the up-end of it to dictate. I would much rather the experts dictate the whole entire system," said Mayor of Wagoner Albert Jones.

Jones, along with other mayors downstream, decided to write a letter to officials like Sen. Jim Inhofe to make sure it's known they want the Corps to continue monitoring lake levels.

"Downstream of the Pensacola Dam, we are in support of allow Corps of Engineers maintaining control of that. Not a city or any municipality upstream dictating their portion of flood control," said Jones.

The city of Miami believes lowering Grand Lake's levels year-round would help everyone affected by the dam, but mainly upstream.

"You can't take one segment of the entire system and keep it dry while everyone else is wet," said Jones.

Jones hopes the letter is taken into consideration before any decisions are made.

He stands by the way the Corps handled May's floods.

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