Local & Regional
Thu May 7, 2009
Bracing for More Flooding
By John Durkee
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Springtime in Oklahoma!
May has been one soggy month with over eight inches of rain in some parts of Northeast Oklahoma and more on the way. Steve Peltz is the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Tulsa. He says predicting a heavy rain event is difficult.
It may surprise you, but Tulsa's worst natural disaster was not a tornado outbreak--- but a Memorial Day Flash flood in 1984. 14-people were killed. While tornadoes grab the headlines, Peltz says flooding is the number one weather killer.
Flooding killed a Pryor woman last week. She was in her car, less than a half mile from her destination, when her vehicle was swept away.
River flooding in also a big problem, especially with Oklahoma numerous lakes and dams. The Weather Service works closely with the Army Corp of Engineers.
The Army Corp of Engineers has its headquarters just one mile south of the weather service at 21st and Highway 169. Russell Holeman monitors the flow of water from the dams. He says the goal is to release water from the dams without flood towns downstream, but admits it is no easy task. His crews have been working around the clock monitoring lakes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.