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Water is released from the Keystone Dam into the Arkansas River northwest of Tulsa, Okla., Friday, May 24, 2019. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began increasing the amount of water being released from the dam on Friday to control the flooding. Tom Gilbert
Oklahoma officials are urging residents to prepare to evacuate some Tulsa neighborhoods that are near stressed, old levees along the Arkansas River.
City officials said Saturday that people living west of downtown should consider leaving for higher ground, even though the levees aren’t currently considered to be in danger of failing.
Mayor G.T. Bynum says the levees were built in the 1940s and haven’t had to hold back this much water since 1986. Officials also say the levees will need to hold back that amount of water until at least Wednesday, which is three days longer than they previously expected.
Officials say if an evacuation becomes necessary, it would need to happen quickly.
The Arkansas River in Tulsa was four feet above flood stage Friday.