Decision by Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa stuns Senator

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford calls it “unbelievable.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not include funding for improvements to Tulsa’s levee system, one rated as one of the worst in the nation.

“For two years, Congress has given the Corps the tools to tackle this project, which has been identified by the Corps as one of the highest risk of failures nationwide,” the Senator told the Tulsa World this week. “It is unexplainable that the Tulsa levee project continues to be a high-risk project  that the Corps fails to prioritize.”

The Corps of Engineers has confirmed it will not carry out a study of the system even though there exists a 2016 law directing it to do the study. The Corps claimed there is a lack of specific funding for the study.

As a result, Sen. Lankford plans to focus on an approaching spending plan for $17.4 billion in supplemental disaster funding approved earlier in the year.

During an appropriations hearing earlier this year, Sen. Lankford pressed the Army Corps’ Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite about the need to make improvements to the Tulsa levee system. The general admitted Tulsa’s system has one of the country’s worst ratings.

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