Floodgates Open At Robert S. Kerr Lock And Dam Because Of Heavy Rain

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EASTERN OKLAHOMA (KFSM) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates at the Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam because the rainy weekend left lake levels higher than normal.

“We opened them once the rain started,” Preston Chasteen, Deputy Chief for Public Affairs for the Tulsa District, said.

Chasteen said transferring water from the lake to the Arkansas River will help everything function the way it's supposed to.

"The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation system has a series of locks and dams. Eighteen total, five of which are in the Tulsa District,” he said. “And they help facilitate the flow of smooth navigation up and down to get goods and services from the Mississippi River to as far as the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.”

Chasteen said the gates are releasing 750,000 gallons of water per second.

That’s enough water to fill more than 10,000 bathtubs every second, if one bathtub holds about 70 gallons of water.

“This is an average release for us in order to bring the levels back into a normal operating level,” Chasteen said.

He said the amount of water being released now "vastly different" from this spring, when our area experienced historic rainfall, and said there is no need to be concerned about flooding downstream.

Chasteen said water will continue to be released in to the Arkansas River until the lake levels return to normal.