|Posted on May 11, 2015 at 10:05 AM|
These last 4 days have taught me a lesson......... water goes where water wants to go. And I guess it felt a need to be in my living room, dining room and kitchen. Oklahoma is definitely a feast or famine state.
But, if disasters can have silver linings, this one has to be that all this flood water will bring attention to our local City's storm drain systems and our State's Flood Control Structures by the citizens of Oklahoma and the tradional press. It's time a light was shined! Can you image how much more devastating these past 4 days would have been without these structures in place and functioning the way they were designed to function? And what about the days ahead, as these flood waters make their way to the Red River and more rain is in our forecast.
The State of Oklahoma has 2,107 flood control structures that have to be maintained every year through the Conservation Districts. Of those structures, 249 are considered High Risk using the current state damn safety criteria. Even worse, according to Trey Lam, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC), 300 damns were deemed needed but were not constructed due to lack of funds. Last July the Federal Government gave OCC half the funds to repair 11 of those High Risk Structures with the understanding that the State of Oklahoma would contribute matching funds of $8.8 Million. This is before our Legislature right now and we are all waiting with bated breath for the outcome. If we can't come up with the matching funds, we could potentially have to return the Federal money. What can you do to help?
Well, you can make sure that your grass clippings and leaf litter don't make it out into our streets to clog up our storm drains. Then you could contact your State Representatives and encourage them to learn more about YOUR local Conservation Districts and Flood Control Structures! Districts play a huge role, dare I say a starring role, in conservation and environmental issues facing the natural resources of our state. We play such an important role, that a Bipartisan Concurrent Joint Resolution was signed on March 30th by the US House of Representatives and U. S Senate, recognizing the value of locally led conservation and Conservation District's efforts across our nation.
Show some love for YOUR Conservation District, ask your Representatives to support our efforts as we continue to protect our natural resources and compost your leaves and grass. These last 4 days have taught me a lot about flooding and it reminded me of something I heard once that I think applies here about Mother Nature. "If Mother's not happy, ain't no one going to be happy". Truer words have never been spoken.