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Northeastern Oklahoma readies for Keystone Dam water release

TULSA, Okla. – Officials in northeastern Oklahoma are preparing thousands of sandbags ahead of the planned release of the largest amount of water that has run through Keystone Dam in 26 years.

The Tulsa World reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to release 85,000 cubic feet of water per second beginning Monday. Recent rainfall in Keystone Lake’s watershed has pushed lake levels more than 20 feet above normal.

“There are approximately 400 people living inside the levee in west Tulsa and along the Arkansas River,” said Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Andy Little. “The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office will be working all weekend trying to move these individuals out.”

On Saturday, almost 76,000 cubic feet of water was being released per second from the dam, located about 24 miles northwest of Tulsa.

Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Kralicek says volunteers filled more than 4,000 bags on Saturday. Officials plan to have more than 12,000 sandbags ready by Thursday with the assistance from volunteers throughout the Tulsa area.

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