Tulsa County Levee Districts

Jenks Levee

John Remington  

John Remington
Levee Commissioner
511 South 1st St.
Jenks, Oklahoma 74037

The Jenks Levee was authorized for construction pursuant to an Act of Congress approved December 22, 1944 (Public Law 534, 78th Congress, 2d Session). The levee was constructed by the Ray Construction Company, Muskogee, Oklahoma, under the direction of the Tulsa District, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army. Construction was commenced on April 15, 1947, and was completed February 15, 1949. It is located on the right bank of the Arkansas River, immediately upstream from the confluence of Polecat Creek, and protects the town of Jenks, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, from floods on the Arkansas River, Polecat Creek, and Hager Creek, a tributary of Polecat Creek. The project extends across portions of Section 1, 12, 13, 14, 23 and 24, Township 18 North, Range 13 East.

The levee, which is 7.80 miles long, is divided into two adjoining sections which make a continuous levee. Section “A” is 20,161 feet (3.82 miles) long and extends along the Arkansas River from river mile 518.0 downstream to river mile 514.3. Section “B” is 21,021 feet (3.98 miles) long, and extends along the left bank of Hager Creek for about two miles and then along the left bank of Polecat Creek for nearly two miles to juncture with the Section “A” levee.

Original features of the levee included: A pumping plant for removal of interior drainage; a sewage lift station for removal of sanitary sewerage; a railroad opening to be closed with sandbags during flood periods; 12 gated culverts under the levee; a gated sewer; two gated discharge lines; 13 roadway ramps over the levee; several interior drainage ditches and culverts; and three staff gages.

The levee protects a triangular shaped area of about 1,540 acres. In 1943, it was estimated that the protected area contained property valued at about $1,200,000 and produced crops with an average annual value of about $60,000. Today, the property protected is valued in excess of $400,000,000, and includes numerous residences, businesses, and the Jones Riverside Airport. The population of Jenks was 1,026 in 1940, and today is approximately 18,670. In addition to the protection against tangible losses, the levees will prevent disruption of communications, health hazard due to floods, loss of life, and other losses which are difficult to evaluate.

The levee provides complete protection with 1 ½ feet of freeboard against a flood on the Arkansas River of 350,000 cubic feet per second. This flood, should it occur, would be somewhat larger than the 1986 flood, which was approximately 310,000 cubic feet per second. The portion of the levee along Polecat Creek above the Arkansas River backwater is designed for three feet of freeboard over a flood of 45,000 cubic feet per second occurring on the stream at the same time that the Arkansas River is discharging 350,000 cubic feet per second. The portion of the levee along Hager Creek is designed for three feet of freeboard over a flood varying from 1,300 to 2,100 cubic feet per second occurring on that stream at the same time that Polecat Creek is discharging 45,000 cubic feet per second.