Residents concerned over hazardous materials near Canadian River

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents along the Canadian River say they are concerned about construction materials that have been used in recent weeks to prevent flooding.

They fear the end result will be a pile of junk in the river bed that could take years to clean up.

General Materials Inc. is a gravel and sand company that resides by the flooded Canadian River.

Early Friday morning, workers created a giant pile of dirt to keep the river from colliding with their lake on the other side.

"There was fear that the berm would break, the levy, and the people on the east side would get flooded out," Jaycee Bogart said.

Jaycee Bogart and her husband live near General Materials. They understand why the barricade was built, but do not like the way it was done.

They say construction materials, including asphalt pavement and steel, were mixed into the dirt.

"There's been a lot of oil because of the asphalt and some tires,” Bogart said. “That's my concern.”

On Tuesday, General Materials began pulling out the construction materials.

The company’s president told NewsChannel 4 they were not able to remove them during the emergency operation, but are working quickly to do so now.

"It's not that we're mad at them by no means. We're not mad at them. We just wish that they would have taken a little bit more concern," Bogart said.

President of General Materials, Ken Wert, released this statement.

“During the early morning hours of May 29, 2015, our company began an emergency response to a potential berm failure due to the rising waters of the South Canadian River. The unprecedented rainfall during the month of May caused the South Canadian River to change its course and cause significant erosion to property located in the vicinity of S. 149th & MacArthurd Blvd. Our company placed construction fill material on our existing berm to prevent a likely breach into our sand and gravel mining lake. During this operation, representatives from the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Department of Mines were on-site. The United States Army Corps of Engineers inspected the berm area on June 1, 2015. At the present time, we are in the process of inspecting the fill area to remove any construction materials such as reinforcing steel or asphalt pavement which we were not able to remove during the emergency placement operation. We will continue to monitor the integrity of the berm in the coming weeks as the river continues to recede, and we will continue to work in cooperation with our various regulatory agencies.”

The Bogarts are also concerned the dirt barricade is causing the river's current to change, forcing the water to further eat away at their property.

The Army Corps of Engineers were not able to confirm if the barricade was damaging the Bogart's land. They did say if your land is eroding to call them for help at 918-669-7366.

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