Category Archives: Tulsa District

Tulsa District reminds visitors to take care around water

The Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been reminding visitors to be careful in and around the water.

Though many reservoirs remain above normal elevation, Lake Office staff and volunteers are working hard to make repairs to open make recreation available as quickly and safely as possible.

“We are encouraging people to come out to the lakes and enjoy the nice weather but as we reduce the lake levels, we want to remind everyone to be conscientious and cautious,” said Steve Nolen, chief of Natural Resources for the Tulsa District. “With so much flooding, many lakes still have debris and submerged, or partially submerged, structures and vegetation that present a hazard to navigation.”

Whether boating, swimming or fishing from the banks, visitors should to take proper precautions by wearing well-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Visitors should also hydrate with water or sports drinks and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while boating.

“Alcohol and boating don’t mix,” said Abby Gaydusek, recreation specialist at the Tulsa District. “Exposure to the sun and summer temperatures increases the effects of alcohol. Boating while intoxicated threatens others’ lives and it’s illegal. ” After nearly two months of rain-induced recreation limits, many people will be ready to take advantage of nice weather and a long weekend and Ken Weiner, chief ranger at the Lake Tenkiller Project Office, is advising visitors to be careful in the reservoirs and the channels below the dam.

“When we are releasing water from the dam the currents are swift and people need to be really careful when wading or boating below the dam,” Weiner said. “The currents are stronger than they look. Parents should keep an eye on their children and make sure they are wearing life jackets.”

Travis Miller, lead ranger, at the Keystone Lake project office, drives the working barge around Keystone Lake, before the Independence Day weekend. Rangers and Tulsa District staff have spent several weeks cleaning up debris following the May rains and Tropical Depression Bill. Rangers reminded visitors to recreation areas to be especially careful as recreation areas reopened.
Travis Miller, lead ranger, at the Keystone Lake project office, drives the working barge around Keystone Lake, before the Independence Day weekend. Rangers and Tulsa District staff have spent several weeks cleaning up debris following the May rains and Tropical Depression Bill. Rangers reminded visitors to recreation areas to be especially careful as recreation areas reopened.
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Eric Bonnell a ranger from the Keystone Lake project office, surveys the shoreline around Keystone Lake before the July Fourth Holiday weekend. Rangers and Tulsa District staff have spent several weeks cleaning up debris following the May rains and Tropical Depression Bill. Rangers reminded visitors to recreation areas to be especially careful as recreation areas reopened.

Corps sandbag filler saves labor, helps communities in need

The hydraulic sandbag filler was loaned to Tulsa District Communities in Grove, Oklahoma, Durant, Texas and Wagoner, Oklahoma. Wagoner was able to build 500 sandbags in 50 minutes with the machine, and will serve as the distribution center for sandbags.
The hydraulic sandbag filler was loaned to Tulsa District Communities in Grove, Oklahoma, Durant, Texas and Wagoner, Oklahoma. Wagoner was able to build 500 sandbags in 50 minutes with the machine, and will serve as the distribution center for sandbags.

Brannen Parrish
Tulsa District
Public Affairs Office

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been using and providing communities with sandbags for more than 100 years, but building sandbags is labor-intensive.

As a results of recent flooding in Oklahoma and Texas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided a hydraulic sandbag filling machine, on loan from the Corps’ Kansas District, to help Oklahoma and Texas Communities with the bag-building process.

The hydraulic filler and its two-man crew spent one day in Grove, Oklahoma, and two days in Durant, Texas, before being sent to Wagoner, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management determined Wagoner would be the central sandbag distribution center.

In the first 50 minutes of operation the machine and community volunteers built 500 sandbags.

“We had volunteers come from all over the county,” said Heath Underwood, emergency manager for Wagoner County.

“We had the Coweta football team come in,” added Underwood, “We asked for volunteers and they all just started coming in.”

Those volunteers, said Gary Cain, one of two sandbag machine operators sent from Kansas City to set up the hydraulic filler, are as important as the machine itself.

“You need the volunteers to tie and stack the bags” said Gary Cain, a crane operator with the Kansas City District, who works with the sandbag filling machine during emergency operations. “The more volunteers you have the more you can put the bags out, the easier it is.”

The Wagoner County Emergency Management Office now has 8,000 sandbags. Some will be placed into storage for future use, while the rest will be picked up by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and delivered to sites around the region.

The machine and crew were able to return to Kansas City, June 1.

“It really helped my guys out and relieved the pressure on us. The people came in, pulled together and helped us out,” said Underwood.

In addition to sandbags, the Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed water releases from more than 50 reservoirs in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas during the May rain event.

“We believe we’ve been able to save lives and infrastructure with our system of reservoirs,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Young, Deputy Commander, Tulsa District. “The people who operate, manage and maintain our structures worked long hours to safely guide us through this event.”