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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Flood Control Network Continues to Function Despite Hard Conditions in 2015

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:30:17 CDT

Oklahoma’s flood control network of 2,107 small watershed dams continues to function despite heavy rains and damage to many structures sustained during the spring of 2015.

Flood control dams prevented an estimated $33.9 and $15.7 million in flood damage in the months of April and May respectively according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Water Resources Office in Oklahoma. Prevented damage is an estimate of damage that would have occurred were the dams not in place. The calculation does not include potential loss of economic activity such as a result of closed businesses or washed out roads. It also does not place a dollar value on potential loss of life.

In total, flood control dams in Oklahoma have prevented an estimated $64.3 million in damage through May. On average, the dams prevent $91 million in damage annually and prevented $280 million in damage in 2015.

A number of flood control dams were damaged during the exceptional rain and ice of 2015. Through the USDA Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program and state matching funds provided by Oklahoma Emergency Management’s State Emergency Fund, repairs continue on schedule. The State Emergency Fund was created for State Disaster Declarations and matches federal funding on Presidential Disaster Declarations.

Thirty seven dams were approved for EWP repairs in 2015 at a cost of $3.2 million. EWP will provide $2.4 million and the State Emergency Fund will provide $800,000. A total of 14 repair projects have been completed with the remaining projects in the design or construction stages.


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