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Repairing Oklahoma Roads After Storms Will Cost More Than $2 Million

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Nathan Rott / NPR
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Early estimates for repairs to roads and bridges from May storms are coming in at $2 million.

Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz says he expects those numbers to rise as crews run conditional assessments and the cost could rise to $10 million.

He says the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is monitoring the situation on roads and bridges as more rain is expected this week.

“One drop of rain that falls in the wrong watershed right now is a big deal. We’ll watch it closely, continue to communicate with the Corps of Engineers as far as what they’re seeing, with inflows into the reservoir system. I’m confident they’ll manage it accordingly.”

Gatz says flooding in the Muskogee area where the Verdigris, Grand and Arkansas Rivers converge was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

He says the storms forced ODOT to close 150 roads and bridges across the state, and he counted 65 different closures all at once during the worst of the flooding.

Gatz adds removing hazardous debris from rivers to protect bridge supports could take 18 months to two years depending on the weather.

Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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