FEMA Awards Okla. Town $3.1M for Flood Protection

August 25, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated $3,167,250 to the state of Oklahoma to purchase flood-prone homes in Bixby and construct a flood detention facility to control flooding in the downtown district.

“This project will prevent the tragedy that many Oklahoma families face each year when floodwaters rise,” said Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “Mitigation projects like this are wise investments in communities vulnerable to regular flooding.”

FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible project costs through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and the remaining 25 percent comes from local resources. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management administers the program. The project will result in the purchase and removal of 31 homes that are subject to damages from storm runoff and flooding along Bixby Creek. Homeowners volunteered to participate in the flood protection project. The detention and channelization measures will also aid other areas of Bixby.

“This project is exemplary of the benefits that come from a community approach to mitigation,” said Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. The coordinated efforts of planners, floodplain administrators, emergency managers and property owners have made this downtown flood protection project possible and the community of Bixby a safer place to live and raise a family.”

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