A 500-year
flood.  As a banker, I know about 100-year
flood plains.  We require insurance for
loans that sit in these designated areas. 
But frankly, I had never heard the term “500-year flood,” until Monday,
June 14th

On June 14th,
Edmond faced the consequences of a 500-year flood.  In thirteen hours, parts of Edmond received
more than 12 inches of rain.   Edmond’s
Public Works director explained to me that this was a 500-year flood.   In layman’s terms, this was a flood that
occurs once every 500 years. 

To our
knowledge, we did not have any fatalities or injuries.  Our police and fire departments spent the day
rescuing people, animals, and safeguarding property, while our emergency
communications fielded the calls.  Hats
off to a job well done. 

roads, bridges, drainage and detention were designed to handle large quantities
of water.  While it would be
extravagantly expensive to design for a 500 year flood, Edmond clearly was
designed to handle flood waters of the 100-year magnitude – as are most
cities.  As our public works director
explained to me, Edmond’s systems, for the most part, exemplified good design
and city planning.

We have several
roads and bridges that suffered significant damage that need repair.  But our new downtown water detention area
worked, our storm water drainage systems worked, and all of our newer bridges
held.  Standing water drained within a
couple of hours to let roads re-open.  

At this
point, there were isolated events reported of water in homes inside the Edmond
city limits.  We have all seen the
reports of the homes that were sitting just outside our city boundaries, and
have seen the devastation they faced.  
Many Edmond citizens, churches and service organizations  have shown up to help these neighborhoods as
they clean up, tear out, and rebuild. 

As for
funds, our city will be filing all the necessary paperwork to get disaster
relief funds.   City employees are
working now to assess and document the damage caused by floods.  Federal agencies have already toured Edmond
to see the damage.

In the
meantime, you can find updated information on road closings on our city
website, edmondok.com.  We will be working
to repair roads and bridges, and to remove debris.   Some repairs will be done in a couple of
days, but some will take considerably longer. 
If you are outside the Edmond city limits, be sure to check the website
of your city for updates about debris removal and assistance. 

As a word of
caution, pay attention to signs warning of road and bridge repair.  The damage may not be apparent from a few
feet away – but it is there.  Don’t
drive, walk, or bicycle near these signs. 
Keep your children away from them. 
There are dangerous conditions being blocked by barricades and
signage.  Take heed of it. 

Thanks to
all our city personnel who did an outstanding job.  And thanks once again to the hundreds of you
that showed up to help your neighbors. 




Posted: June 22, 2010

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