LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A looming issue grows larger in Logan County, but after landowners turned to KFOR for help, the state is taking a closer look.
It’s a massive, multi-county problem hidden just up the river bend.
Kim Ziegelgruber and Mark Bruno have been sounding the alarm for years as a logjam on Deer Creek grew so large it could be spotted by satellite.
The stumps, sticks and brush largely stop up the north flowing creek at the Logan County line, flooding both men’s property and several spots south.
Most pressing though is a bridge on Waterloo Road that’s now impassible after most heavy storms.
“The bridge is either gonna collapse or [drivers] are gonna wash off the road,” noted Kim when we first met last March. “It’s just a pain in the rear.”
“We tried chainsaws, had small fires going; it’s just a temporary fix till the next rain,” added Mark. “This is an emergency.”
But who’s responsible for the fix, is fluid.
While the jam itself resides in Logan County, most of the issues it causes are in Oklahoma County.
Two commissioner’s – Oklahoma County’s Kevin Calvey and Logan County’s Marven Goodman – have been unable to reach a resolution for years.
An offer by Calvey for his county to pay for up to $25,000 for a temporary fix was denied due to the fact that Logan County would be on the hook for whatever’s left.
“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.”
Now, nearly a year after News 4 took a look, the state has opened the funding floodgates.
“Part of it might have started with your In Your Corner story about the big log jam,” said Trey Lam, with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.
Trey, along with leaders from Logan and Oklahoma Counties, as well as state representatives, sought to find a fix.
They ultimately decided to appropriate $250,000 in state funds, and bidding for the job is underway.
“The idea was that we just needed some funding that could be put in place. We could go out and assess the problem and then actually hire a contractor to go out and clear it out,” said Trey. “The idea is to get it done before the big rains come in.”
News 4 stopped back by Deer Creek, finding that the job is much larger than it was just 10 months ago.
Kim and Mark are just as frustrated.
“When it happens it happens, you know,” said Mark.
“You believe it when you see it kind of thing,” added Kim.
But there’s hope for a solution, and the two agree there’s no better time than the present.
“The money’s there, the weather is right to do it. They have the opportunity,” said Kim.
We’ll check back.