FEMA Processing River Parks Request for Public Assistance to Help With Flood Damage

Jul 18, 2019

Floodwaters overtake the River Parks facility at 41st Street and Riverside.
Credit River Parks Authority

This story was updated July 19 at 12:25 p.m. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has accepted River Parks’ request for public assistance following May’s storms and resulting Arkansas River flooding.

About $8 million in needed work has been identified so far. If River Park’s request is approved, the feds and state would cover 87.5% of the costs, but those funds will come through reimbursements.

"Of course, there’s not $8 million right now to go and fix stuff and then get reimbursed. So, it’ll be a portion of that, I’m sure," said contractor Alan McBeath.

River Parks Executive Director Matt Meyer said it may take two years to get things back to normal, but bank stabilization projects and repairing structures near trails will be priorities in the first year.

"We will submit to FEMA all the damages that we can find, and then we will leave it in FEMA’s court to determine what’s eligible or what’s not eligible," Meyer said.

River Parks and the City of Tulsa are also working on an advance of $1.1 million in current Improve Our Tulsa funds earmarked for things like trail and parking lot repairs.

"We’re having to redirect that money to flood damage, and then — in hopes of getting reimbursed — then we can do those projects later on," Meyer said.

River Parks is prioritizing the potential projects now. They have two months to get the list set before work must start.