Log jam at Twin Bridges State Park beginning to clear up


OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. — Good news at Twin Bridges State Park near Wyandotte.

You can see (below) a whole lot of the debris, which had been cluttering part of the Neosho River at the bridge isn’t as cluttered as it was after last week’s storms.

Some of that debris should’ve floated downstream, but had been pushed back upstream because of high winds.

ODOT officials said the log jam wasn’t causing any structural issues to the bridge. Miami Mayor, Bless Parker has long said the GRDA was responsible for maintaining the Neosho River where it feeds into Grand Lake.

GRDA officials said, last week, they were monitoring the situation and that it wasn’t safe to try and clear the debris.

ODOT working on plan to remove log jam at Twin Bridges area

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. — Highway 60 near Twin Bridges in eastern Ottawa County will remain open as state officials work to clean up a log and debris blockage.

Debris-cluttered Neosho River causes concern at Twin Bridges Area

“There are no problems with the (bridge) structure and we plan on keeping (U.S. 60) highway open,” said T.J. Gerlack, Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesman.

A round of severe weather over the weekend left a voluminous amount of logs and debris in the Neosho River.

The National Weather Service reported the Neosho River rose over five and a half feet in 24 hours at the Commerce reporting site and over four feet at the Miami reporting site.  Spring River rose over four feet in 24 hours at the Quapaw reporting site.

Flood stage for the Neosho River is 15 feet and 20 feet for Spring River.

Gerlack said ODOT and Grand River Dam Authority are working on a plan to remove the logs at the Twin Bridges site.

“We may have to shut down the highway to half a lane – but we will let the public know in advance,” Gerlack said.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers would have to make the call on any floodgate operations at our dams, said Justin Alberty, GRDA spokesman.

A floodgate release works in balance with all releases from their other reservoirs that feed into the greater Arkansas River system, he said.

Alberty said that the Corps and GRDA are monitoring the situation for any possible actions as the water moves through the system.

Due to the presence of a large driftwood debris field lodged against the bridge, the GRDA police are advising boaters to avoid that area of Grand Lake.

“The driftwood can break free and move rapidly downstream, so we are asking boaters to stay well clear of the area and to be mindful of possible floating debris in other areas of the lake,” Alberty said.

GRDA Police advises boaters in other areas of Grand Lake to be aware of the possibility of floating debris.

Safety tips:

  • Watch your wake. When lake levels are elevated, boat wakes can roll up onto neighboring properties, and possibly cause damage to areas that are normally above the water line. All boat operators are responsible for their wakes.

  • Be mindful of the changing shoreline topography when lake levels are elevated. Stumps, picnic tables, retaining walls and other structures typically located along the shoreline may be submerged due to the lake levels. Use extreme caution and avoid unfamiliar areas of the shoreline.

  • Stay away from open floodgates and spillway areas. If floodgates are open at either Pensacola Dam or Robert S. Kerr Dam while boating, please observe the buoys designating the spillway areas and allow plenty of distance between those locations and your boat.

  • Do not go into spillway areas below the dam. Please use common sense and stay away from areas below floodgates where water is being released. It is against the law to enter floodwater discharge. Besides, swift water can be very dangerous.

  • Finally, a good reminder for boating in all conditions: always, always wear your life jacket.

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