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Officials assessing dam breach at Payne County lake

Officials assessing dam breach at Payne County lake


A Payne County lake is closed until further notice as officials assess a dam breach.

Cushing city officials posted to Facebook on Sunday, notifying residents and lake-goers of the event.

“This afternoon City officials and other public safety officials are continuing to monitor a situation involving the Cushing Lake dam,” City Manager Terry Brannon wrote. “There has been a breach of the concrete structure beneath the surface, which is allowing water to pass unrestricted yet controlled, meaning there has not been a complete dam failure.”

Update (9 a.m. Monday):

The lake is about 8 miles west of the city, and Brannon said the area north of the dam is mostly fields and livestock, not houses. He said Cushing police have notified property owners immediately downstream.

The city activated its emergency action plan, establishing a command center, contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management, and is receiving assistance from local emergency responders and Stillwater and Tulsa engineering firms.

The municipal lake, with 9 miles of shoreline and 591 surface acres, is most often used for boating, according to

“This event is continuing to develop so only necessary updates will be provided going forward,” Brannon said in the post.

Cushing is about 50 miles west of Tulsa.

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Kelsy Schlotthauer


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I write because I care about people, policing and peace, and I believe the most informed people make the best decisions. I joined the Tulsa World in 2019 and currently cover breaking news. Phone: 918-581-8455

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"We've been able to get by with that so far because the citizens of Tulsa have sucked it up and done the right thing," Mayor G.T. Bynum said at a Thursday news conference. "But we're moving into flu season. We're moving into cold winter months when more people will not have the option of al fresco dining and spending as much time outside. More people will be inside, and with that comes much greater risk."

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