DEER CREEK, Okla. (KFOR) – Deer Creek is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the metro, but as folks flood in, the creek is flooding over, and a large reason is hidden downstream.
Just north of Waterloo Road, you might stumble on Mark Bruno’s family farm.
“I’ve got about 50 acres,” Mark explained. “Wheat field, [and I] run some cattle.”
But those acres have slowly dwindled the last couple years, crumbling away to the ever widening Deer Creek.
A log jam is to blame, that’s so large it an be spotted on satellite images and is growing every year.
North of the jam, is free flowing water, three to four feet wide.
South of the issue, is a stronger flow ever widening behind the blockage, flooding both Mark and neighbor Kim Ziegelgruber’s land every time it storms.
“We tried chainsaws, had small fires going. It’s just a temporary fix till the next rain,” said Mark. “I’ve probably lost a couple acres.”
“It’s just a pain in the rear, trying to take care of it,” said Kim.
The problem affects way more than Kim and Mark’s land.
The bridge on Waterloo is deluged with every moderate rainfall, as are other roads and neighborhoods upstream.
Kim says Waterloo drivers will soon feel the effects.
“The bridge is either gonna collapse or [drivers] are gonna wash off the road,” he said.
The problem is a perfect storm for conflict between Oklahoma and Logan counties.
Waterloo is right on the county line. The log jam itself is in Logan County Commissioner Marven Goodman’s district.
However, the bridge is in the district of Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey.
“As of right now, the bridge is fine,” Calvey said. “But over time, yes this is gonna cause a problem with that bridge.”
Calvey says his team has tried to fix the problem. He tells ‘In Your Corner’ he found a contractor who could do a temporary fix for roughly $30,000 to $35,000.
Oklahoma County offered a resolution last year, agreeing to pay $25,000 to help resolve the issue.
“The amount we’re discussing here would be enough to get the water flowing,” said Calvey. “They’re not gonna be required to pay more than about $5,000 to $10,000, they seem unwilling to do that.”
Across county lines, Logan County Commissioner Goodman says they simply don’t have as much money as Oklahoma County.
He was unavailable for an interview, but pointed our team toward the fine print of the resolution, where his county would be required to pay the remainder of the project (so long as the project stays below $50,000 total).
Goodman is calling for further negotiation.
“It’s not my county,” said Calvey. “The Logan County commissioners need to take action and pay a minority of the cost to take care of it.”
Caught in the crossfire are two hardworking Oklahomans and anyone who lives upstream of the mess.
“Everyone said, ‘Yes, it’s a terrible devastating problem, we need to get it fixed.’ And they all sat on their thumbs,” said Kim. “Apparently, two counties can’t get along.”
“It comes down to money,” said Bruno. “But it needs to get fixed.”