Torrential Rainfall Floods State Capitol Complex Tunnels


Thursday, July 1st 2021, 5:15 pm
By: Storme Jones


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma state Capitol complex has been inundated with rain this week, and the water is not staying outside the buildings.

“It just continually gets worse,” said Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.

He said the five tunnels connecting state office buildings north of the Capitol have flooded in recent years. Recent rainfall have maintenance crews pumping water out of the tunnel between the Will Rogers and Connors buildings.

“How did we let it go this far?” McBride said. “Things are going to happen and you’re going to have to address that over time, but when we have let something go so far as we’ve got over two feet of water standing in a tunnel.”

Last legislative session, McBride said he ran a bill that would have funded a tunnel fix, but it fell flat. McBride said it's time to get things under control.

Rusted rebar and crumbling concrete litter the tunnel between the Will Rogers and Sequoya buildings.

“More than anything, just the structural integrity of the tunnels need to be looked at, because if there’s a leak, there’s something wrong with the integrity of these tunnels,” McBride said.

Just on the other side of the Capitol, the Jim Thorpe Building is dealing with water damage that is hard to run away from. Crews have ripped up the carpet and are working to repaired not so dry wall.

McBride said he'll continue working to get a bond passed through the legislature to deal with the flooding issues.