Know Your Risk of Flooding – May Key Message

For nearly four decades the City of Tulsa has made great progress in reducing the flood risk of citizens through various flood-risk reduction programs. Although it has been years since a flood has claimed lives in Tulsa, the dangers of another major flood event should not be ignored.

Tulsa’s Flood Risk – Many citizens along the Arkansas River and tributary streams are at heightened risk for flood events because of low-lying geography and the extent of the floodplains. Survivors of the 1984 and 1986 floods will remember that floodwaters from the Arkansas River covered huge swaths of normally dry areas. One of the highest-risk flood events, including a breach or failure of the Keystone Dam, could cause widespread flooding in Tulsa along the Arkansas River. If you live in these or other flood-prone areas, your family should have a flood preparedness plan, including a disaster kit, as well as somewhere to go. Preplan your evacuation route in advance of a flood event. To read more about Tulsa’s costly and deadly flood history, go to:

Levees – Many Tulsans don’t know about the levee system surrounding the West Tulsa community in the Eugene Field area south of the river, the Charles Page area north of the Arkansas River, and the Sand Springs area. While these levees offer some flood-risk reduction, these aging levees should not be relied on to provide complete protection from major flood events.

You can view Tulsa’s flood maps online at:

If you live in a flood-prone area, it is even more important that steps be taken to secure your home and family from danger. To learn more about flood preparedness and safety, visit: or

To better understand your risk of flooding, call the City of Tulsa Customer Care Center at 311 (in Tulsa) or at (918) 596-7777 to request a free flood-zone determination. City of Tulsa staff is available to help you better understand the potential impacts of flooding to your home. They can also help you interpret detailed floodplain maps and explain the flood insurance/development requirements. To learn more about flood risk and insurance, contact Gary McCormick, Floodplain Engineer or Michael Ling, Floodplain Administrator through the City’s Customer Care Center at (918) 596-7777.

In partnership with the Disaster Resilience Network, the City of Tulsa shares these monthly key messages from the Program for Public Information as part of the National Flood Insurance Program – Community Rating System. This outreach assists our community in keeping low flood insurance rates. Tulsa property owners and renters are eligible to receive up to a 40 percent discount on flood insurance rates.

Tim Lovell