Arkansas River

The Arkansas River has reached historic flood levels after weeks of relentless rain and tornadoes. The decades-old levee system is overwhelmed, and millions have been told to evacuate as waters have engulfed urban and rural areas alike. Reporter Frank Morris (@FrankNewsman) joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the latest from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nathan Rott / NPR

In Oklahoma, Tulsa and other nearby communities are in a tense standoff with the raging Arkansas River. The river has already flooded hundreds of homes and businesses.

Mid-September rains in Kansas flooded Arkansas River tributaries, pulling soil and silt into the Otoe-Missouria’s water source below Kaw Lake. The filters in the tribe’s 23-year-old treatment plant “filters “weren’t designed to handle the influx,” the Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.

It’s been decades since Tulsa decided the portion of the Arkansas River that runs through the city was too dirty and dangerous to swim in. The river is much cleaner now, but convincing the public it’s OK to hop in won’t be easy.

The Arkansas River is an iconic feature of Tulsa, cutting across downtown and winding through the west side of the city. But it has a bad reputation.

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