The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

October 16, 2013

The flood of 1973 — could it happen again?

City of Enid makes improvements to floodplain

ENID, Okla. — Bob Berry uses maps to make a point.

This quest he’s on — to prove the city hasn’t done enough to mitigate the flood hazard in Enid — uses the same maps commissioned by the city five years ago to show which parts of the city would be inundated in floods statistically rare enough to be called 100-year and 500-year events.

At a quick glance, the maps are just a series of squiggly lines and bloated spots that follow the general outlines of Enid’s two major waterways — Boggy and Skeleton creeks.

For officials tasked with preserving life and property, though, they show possible danger areas and define which homes are required to keep flood insurance.

Floodplain

There are several factors that define where floodwaters are predicted to escape the banks of Boggy Creek, which bisects Enid toward the southwest, meets up with Skeleton Creek and dumps into a low plain in the Brookside neighborhood.

Those factors include upstream real estate development, making the soil there impermeable, naturally-occurring clutter in existing diversion channels and too few improvements to land meant to hold stormwater in place.

Click HERE for interactive map to see where flood plain is today and where flooding was in 1973

Berry has filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing there hasn’t been enough done to protect the neighborhoods along Boggy Creek from another flood. He contends that some areas protected 40 years ago now are in danger of flooding. He said this includes some additional areas of Brookside and the neighborhood south and west of the Indian Hills Shopping Center.

“They’re depending on people of intellect and people with resources to get their back,” Berry said. “To me, it’s a simple thing. Some kid gets killed? How would you like that on your conscience?”

Berry and the city now are in mediation and both parties declined to discuss specifics of the negotiations.

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