Tulsa Gun Club members prepared for high water as Bird Creek began to flood last week, but like many other residents of the area, they were caught by surprise at how high the water climbed.
About 40 of the club’s clay-throwing machines are out of service after the flood, even though club members put them on higher ground, on the concrete slab under the clubhouse. The clubhouse is about 10 feet above the ground and remained dry.
“We had two trailers and put them up under the canopy of the building, which has been the 24-foot mark,” club treasurer Wendell
Fichtner said. “The last we checked, (Bird Creek) would be at 20 or 21 feet, but it ended up literally 18 inches from the floor of the clubhouse, so something like 29 or 30 feet. Basically, it was an extra 6 feet of water we didn’t count on, so it covered everything up.”
Water receded to allow cleanup to begin on Thursday, and the club held a work party on Saturday. The club has a goal to open a few shooting stations next weekend, but that is tentative, Fichtner said. He advised people check the club’s Facebook page for updates.
The clay throwers are worth more than $2,000 each but have components that can be replaced or fixed without replacing the entire machine, he said.
The high water covered all of the low-house skeet stations at the club. The trap-thrower pits will remain full of water until members are prepared to pump them out and immediately fix the machines.
All of the other features of the club, such as the rifle and pistol ranges and the cowboy-action range and other outbuildings, will need to be power-washed and sprayed with a disinfectant.
Electrical gear that controls the throwers and accepts payment cards is yet to be fully examined, but he said the club expects minimal damage to the solid-state components.
Fichtner drove the route around the sporting clays course on Saturday and said everything seemed to be intact, just in need of a good scrubbing. Water over the course was probably 10 feet deep, he said.
“The frames on our shooting stations are 8 feet tall, and we’ve got a log on top of one of them,” he said.