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Fixing Flood Damage May Leave Less Money for Previously Planned River Parks Work

River Parks Authority

Repairing damage from spring 2019’s floods in River Parks may leave less money for previously planned work.

River Parks got an advance on city sales tax funding intended to pay for trail improvements and other work in order to get flood repairs started because the Federal Emergency Management Agency offered funding through reimbursements.

"Whenever we get some FEMA reimbursement, we'll put it back into that and start those other projects again. We won't be able to do as many because we won't — our FEMA reimbursement will probably be more in the 50% to 75% range instead of the 87.5% that they first said," said River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer.

River Parks has tackled repairs at a handful of sites where damage posed the greatest threat to public safety, but there are still dozens of locations in need of repairs.

"Maybe it's a small contractor or some temporary workers using some of our equipment over the next couple of years to finish those out, but I think we've come to a halt on the big projects unless somebody gives us a bunch of money," Meyer said.

An engineer told the River Parks Authority there were 87 sites in all with damage ranging from severe bank erosion making trails unsafe to minor scouring. 

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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