Tulsa Weather and Flooding, fun times [updated]

Photo: Los Angeles Times

[Update 530PM CST] Home. Cars covered, back yard cleaned, emergency kit checked, dogs sedated. Two tornadoes on the ground to the far SW. Just started raining in Tulsa. Here we go!

No better way to put this: things are pretty fucked here in Oklahoma. We had some serious weather Monday evening and then even more Tuesday. Mostly a ton of rain, but also some heavy winds and minor tornadoes. More on that in a second.

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As a result, Keystone Lake, already 20 feet above normal, gained an additional 4 feet pretty much overnight. As a result of this Keystone Dam went from releasing 60,000 cubic-feet per second (cfs) to releasing 165,000 cfs. The maximum release that still keeps the Arkansas river in its banks is 100,000 cfs, so we’re exceeding that by 65% already.

Give you some idea of how large Keystone Lake is.

Flooding was expected to be minor, but certainly a problem.

That was this morning.

They just announced they’re increasing the release to 215,000 cfs, or to put it another way 1.6 million gallons per second. Keystone’s spillways are open 10.5 feet at this point.

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Widespread flooding is expected and several communities are recommended for evacuation.

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To give it some historical context, the 100-year flood release level is 205,000 cfs and the infamous 1986 flood, which was the tipping point at which Tulsa began a massive project to rework its storm water system, was 307,000 cfs. (Source: G.T. Bynum, Tulsa Mayor)

This also means that our favorite ORV park (as seen on the other side of the dam in the above video) is mostly underwater and will be for some time. Boo.

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On top of all that, strong storms, hail, tornadoes, and more rain is expected tonight starting at 3PM CST.

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Monday was mostly OK for us, hanging out by the TV comforting the dogs. Dog A hates storms, so he was wrapped up in his thunder vest, under a blanket fort between the couch and coffee table, and loaded up with benadryl.

Please excuse the mess, I wasn’t expecting guests.
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Dog B doesn’t mind the storms, but does like to howl at the sirens.

Meanwhile, Tuesday morning there was some activity very close to our house, which meant I made the call to head down the the basement for a bit.

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This is whenI found out Dog B doesn’t like the basement.

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He just stood there shaking uncontrollably, a picture of misery. Looks like he’ll be getting the bennies tonight.

As of right now (2:35CST) a “particularly dangerous situation” (PDS) tornado watch, which is apparently a thing, has been issued for central and southwest Oklahoma.

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Stuck at work for a little while longer, but certainly going to make the case we shouldn’t be driving in that shit and should go home early.

So yeah! Fun stuff!

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