With the excessive rainfall and resulting flooding that has taken place in Oklahoma these last few weeks, damage to cities and towns has reached staggering proportions. The Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) reached out to Oklahoma cities and towns to find out the extent of damage by conducting a survey on the topic and have been able to gather the following results.
Of the seventy-nine municipalities who reported storm damage, the results show that the cost to cities and towns is estimated to be in excess of $29.7 million to pay for damages and other storm related expenditures. Damage was distributed across both large and smaller communities with some small communities needing several thousands of dollars worth of repairs. The City of McCloud with a population of just over 4,000, reported damage of over $350,000. When asked to provide a picture of how many of the expenses were restricted to physical damages, respondents totaled $23.4 million, with additional expenses being debris removal, overtime costs, and uncategorized damage.
According to the survey, the biggest hit to cities and towns was centered on bridges, roads, and water systems. Other damages were reported to have occurred to public safety, wastewater, parks and recreation, and electric systems. Cities and towns are already under tight budgets and many reported to have no plan for paying for the unbudgeted items, and hope to receive some sort of emergency assistance from FEMA.
While the rain was incredibly beneficial to our water supply reservoirs, it certainly came at a price to our streets, drainage system and overtime pay,” said Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch. “It’s unfortunate FEMA doesn’t allow cities to claim potholes because the cost of patching them is a significant expense for us this year.”