One year after windstorm leaves debris behind in Tulsa

by: Ian Silver Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

Wednesday marks one year since a devastating wind storm swept through Tulsa, leaving limbs, debris and in some cases entire trees down in its wake.
 
It took close to eight weeks to get the entire city cleaned up and the city took a lot of flack for that. FOX23 spoke with the people who led the effort and they said it all came down to money.
 
It’s hard for Lauren Scott to believe it’s been a year.
 
“We had trash everywhere, we had tree limbs. We had just a whole bunch of (debris) everywhere that could be, it was a mess,” said Scott.
 
She said that mess stayed for a while.
 
“Where I live it took a while for them to get over there and get it cleaned up. It was very frustrating. I think they could have done a better job,” she said.
 
The problem was the storm came less than a month into the city’s new budget year.
 
“We still had the whole year to go through, including the winter months with snow and ice,” said Tim McCorkell, the streets maintenance manager for the city of Tulsa.
 
McCorkell said it’s a good thing they stretched the process out and saved on overtime costs.
 
“It was very good that we went about it the way that we did, because, as you know, the winter that we just went through was probably one of the worst ones we’d had in a while,” he said.
 
Plus, even though they had workers from every city department helping out, those crews still had to do their normal jobs on top of storm cleanup.
 
But Scott isn’t satisfied because she said the response in the winter wasn’t much better.
 
“And I know Tulsa doesn’t always get these bad storms, but when we do, they’re not, it doesn’t get handled well,” she said.
 
FOX23 found out the city did not budget any extra funds this year for storm clean-up, as McCorkell told FOX23 you can’t always plan for a storm that only comes once in a while.