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Volunteers pack bags of sand, homeless removed from camps as flooding concerns rise

City of Tulsa preparing for possible flooding because of high water levels. (KTUL).JPG
City of Tulsa preparing for possible flooding because of high water levels. (KTUL).JPG

TULSA, Okla., (KTUL) -- Dozens of volunteers bagged sand in Sand Springs on Saturday ahead of possible flooding off the Arkansas River.

We are approaching what could be the highest amount of water let out into the Arkansas River in 20 years, record levels that have many concerned for large flooding.

Monday the army corps will be letting out 85,000 cubic feet per second.

That number could go up if it rains hard and those most at risk are the homeless staying next to the river.

It’s a shocking image you don’t see often, a large amount of water rapidly flowing in the Arkansas River.

A major danger to those living near the water, like Robert a homeless man in West Tulsa.

Tulsa County commissioner Karen Keith met Robert while out checking the levees along the river.

Concerned as the water levels are only going to rise.

“We are in a bit of a precarious position right now," said County Commissioner Karen Keith.

As it stands the water levels are high and the Army Corps plans on releasing up to 85,000 cubic feet per second on Monday.

But that doesn’t mean there’s an emergency just yet.

“In the event of real super crisis we will be asking the public to come out and help," said Keith.

Volunteers showed up and bagged dozens of sand just in case more ran does fall, but also to prepare for future possible disasters.

“We have got the state agencies, we have the local agencies," said William Smiley.

All working hand and hand, using a machine that was not available during the 1984 flood in town.

“This is all about getting together as a team to do what they can to make everyone safe," said Smiley.

“We usually see catfish, carp," said David.

Down the road away from the preparations are David and his father fishing like they do everyday, normally in much deeper water, hoping to catch a fish before the weather moves in.

They are also watching out for their neighbors along the river.

“I don’t want to see any causalities for anyone getting drowned or any animals or anything like that," said David.

If it rains hard and the Army Corps has to release anything over 100,000 cubic feet per second, that’s when the situation could really get bad.


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