The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 20, 2010

Turkey Creek dam 1st in U.S. to be built with stimulus money

ENID — Less than six months after breaking ground a big project in Garfield County, funded by stimulus money, is finished.

A dam has been built on Turkey Creek, between Waukomis and Drummond, to help control flooding.

“Basically, it’s going to prevent flooding downstream,” said Jason Skaggs, district manager of Garfield County Conservation District.

The recently completed dam is to be one of several flood-control dams in Oklahoma and is the first upstream flood-control dam in the nation to be built with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The dam, Turkey Creek No. 3, cost half a million dollars to complete.

“This Recovery Act project is a prime example of how federal, state and local agencies can work together to accomplish great things,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The new dam is meant to reduce flooding on more than 500 acres of cropland, protect six county bridges and roads and re-establish 43.5 acres of wildlife habitat.

Ten more dams are to be built within the Turkey Creek watershed and when all 11 dams are completed, 6,000 residents will be protected from flooding

The Turkey Creek watershed consists of an area of 244,000 acres and affects Alfalfa, Garfield, Kingfisher and Major Counties.

The next dam to be built will be near Helena, said Skaggs.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Skaggs. “It’s amazing how good of a job they did and how quickly they did it.”

Partners on this project include USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Turkey Creek Conservancy District, Garfield County Conservation District and Garfield County Commissioners.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the dam site at a future date.

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