Tulsa County’s levee districts span over 26 miles and protect more than 6,500 acres of property. Tulsa County works continuously to maintain and improve several levee systems located within the County’s boundaries.
District 12 Levee
The Tulsa-West Tulsa Levee System was constructed in 1945, under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and covers approximately 20 miles of the Arkansas River, Black Boy Creek, Harlow Creek and Cherry Creek.
Tulsa County Drainage District No. 12 is responsible for providing the operation and maintenance for the system, which protects an estimated $2 billion in infrastructure in Sand Springs, West Tulsa and Tulsa County as well as the citizens who live there.
The project is an approximately 7.4 mile long and 12 feet high earthen levee on the west bank of the Arkansas River at Jenks, Oklahoma. The project was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and upon completion in 1944 ownership was transferred to Tulsa County for continued operations, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions.
There are approximately 3,505 people who live and work behind this levee. Without the levee, it is estimated that some 1,723 residential and commercial structures valued up to $426 million dollars could be flooded. Critical infrastructures include a large regional airport. Loss of life is possible if the levee were to fail or overtop during a flood.
Since construction, the levee has performed well during three significant Arkansas River floods. The flood of record was 307,000 cfs on 05OCT1986 which put approximately 7 feet of water on the levee and is about 60% of the levee average height. In these past floods no significant damages or operational concerns were identified.
Haikey Creek Levee
The project is an approximately 1.1 mile long and 10 feet high earthen levee on the north bank of Haikey Creek, which is a small tributary to the Arkansas River in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. The project was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and upon completion in 1987 ownership was transferred to Tulsa County for continued operations, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions.
There are approximately 120 people who live and work behind this levee. Without the levee, it is estimated that some 47 residential structures within the Hickory Hills Subdivision valued up to $12 million dollars could be flooded. Loss of life is possible if the levee were to fail or overtop during a flood.
Prior to levee construction, a record flash flooding event in 1974 resulted in a number of homes being inundated for several hours, some by as much as 4 ½ feet of water. The levee, which was built to reduce risk from such flash storm events, has not been significantly loaded since construction. The levee is designed for a flood that is larger than a 100-year event on Haikey Creek. During the flood event of 2019 the levee was loaded to 100% by flood waters with a 277,200 cfs flow on 29MAY2019.