May 27, 2019

Flood Control Dams Help Oklahoma

The state of Oklahoma has more dams than any other state

The state of Oklahoma has more dams than any other state

Flood control dams are helping protect Oklahoma communities. Larry Caldwell, a retired U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) engineer, said “communities should have natural flood control dams.” According to Fox 25, Oklahoma has more dams than any other state.

Caldwell said flooding is hard to predict and the potential has always been there. There seems to be periods of extreme drought and then every drought is broken with a flood, Caldwell added.

He said dams were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. They were constructed to protect agricultural areas downtown. “Since that time, many people began to construct homes downstream because it doesn’t flood anymore,” Caldwell told Fox 25.

Caldwell encourages those to take precautions if there are not enough dams or a dam network around you. He also said people should be aware of what can be done upstream in terms of maintenance and of where the dams are, and be prepared if the dams do function.

He said dams are needed to make sure more lives are not devastated by flooding. "If those dams were constructed, they would see a marked reduction in the amount of flooding that occurs in those areas," Caldwell told Fox 25.

There are more than 2,100 of these dams across the state of Oklahoma, according to Fox 25. Caldwell said there are 330 dams that are planned but have not been built because there is no money to pay for them.