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FEMA May Cover Less of River Parks Flood Damage Repairs Than Hoped

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River Parks Authority
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Work to fix flood damage from last spring’s storms is nearly complete at a few spots within Tulsa’s River Parks, but the federal government may not cover as much of the costs as anticipated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency may not cover materials like flexible concrete mats laid down to reinforce eroded banks around 57th and 68th streets.

"FEMA’s focus is to restore an area back to original condition, and they consider 'original condition' just going in and putting some dirt down and leaving," said Alan McBeath with River Parks.

Flood damage repairs in River Parks will run an estimated $8 million to $14 million total and could take up to three years. Work underway near 57th and 68th streets should be done within the next couple weeks, A project at the 41st Street plaza will be finished next.

"After the projects are completed, we’re going to have to follow up with the state and FEMA and submit some additional paper and that sort of thing to show where our costs have gone and probably do some negotiating, try to get reimbursed for the articulated cable concrete and additional riprap and that sort of thing," McBeath said.

River Parks laid those flexible concrete mats and protective rock to bolster the riverbank and help prevent erosion in future floods.

River Parks got an advance on $1.1 million in sales tax funding to get repairs started.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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