|Updated: 10/12/2011 3:51 pm
||Published: 10/11/2011 6:11 pm
Clean up will continue on Thursday as the city continues to clean out storm drains that were being used to make meth.
Most meth cooks are mixing the highly-toxic, highly-addictive chemicals in a plastic bottle. It’s known as the one-pot or shake-and-bake method.
Last week police busted Glenn Reese, 43, for having a bottle of meth inside his backpack at the Wal-Mart at 81st and S. Lewis Avenue.
On Monday, that investigation led police to a storm drain near that Wal-Mart where more meth was discovered.
Above the manhole where police found an active meth lab there is a strip mall, apartments and a Wal-Mart.
Any rain causes all the debris including meth making materials in the drain to be flushed into the Arkansas River.
Roy Teeters who oversees the storm drainage system for the City of Tulsa Public Works Department says there are more than 1,000 miles of storm drains in Tulsa.
Sizes range from a basketball to a dump truck.
The tunnels are large enough to attract a meth cook who used one of those tunnels as his kitchen.
Police say a hundred yards back through the tunnel that drains into Fred Creek they found they found an active meth lab, a discarded bottle used to make meth and meth-making materials.
Above is the manhole is where a hairstylist works.
"Crazy, scared, not safe,” says Haircuts Now stylist Rachel Hollingshad.
Before anyone went down in the hole Tulsa Firefighters Confined Space Rescue Team dropped the bucket and used a claw-type tool to collect the potentially toxic mess and the air was tested.
"There could be hazardous matter from car exhaust, decomposing matter such as leaves that could displace the oxygen, there are any number of things that could have killed him just by entering,” says Team Captain Jerry Gibbens.
However, it just wasn’t the meth cooks down in the tunnels.
Officers say homeless people were living in the tunnels.
They found a couch, a chair, clothes and stolen property.
"There are people who let their kids run around, there are kids who walk to work here and just walking in and out carelessly and then not knowing what's going on is the shock,” says Hollingshad.
Teeter says city crews will be hauling out the trash out of the tunnel Wednesday morning.
Meantime, Tulsa Police continue to battle a meth problem.
This year they’ve recovered 1,107 meth bottles at 342 meth lab scenes.
Last year they busted 323 meth lab scenes.
Teeter says they cannot put up barriers to block pedestrians from using the tunnels.
If they did, the drains could get clogged from the debris and cause flooding.
City workers encourage anyone who suspects illegal activity going on in a storm drain to call the Mayor’s Action Line at (918) 596-2100.
They also encourage everyone to stay out of the drains.