CN gives $200K to help Webbers Falls flooding recovery
A map of the Cherokee Nation's jurisdiction and where Webbers Falls is located within its boundaries. COURTESY
WEBBERS FALLS – Cherokee Nation officials on Sept. 30 donated $200,000 to Webbers Falls to aid in placement of a new waterline after historic flooding in June damaged much of the town’s infrastructure.
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner met with Dist. 5 Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith to present the check to Webbers Falls Mayor Sandy Wright.
“Over the years, the Cherokee Nation has partnered with Webbers Falls on a variety projects to serve the town’s citizens, many of whom are Cherokee,” Hoskin said. “It is our duty as a government to help Cherokee citizens in need and with our contribution to the new waterline, Webbers Falls will be able to supply families and businesses for years to come.”
The tribe gave $200,000 in Indian Health Service Emergency Project funding to replace the East Central Oklahoma Water Authority waterline, which supplies water to the town and its surrounding area.
“It’s been a tough summer for everyone here,” Smith said. “Every donation and repair counts in helping Webbers Falls get back to where they were before the flood, and I am proud to be part of a Nation that does its part in helping its communities when they need it.”
The total cost of the town’s project is estimated to be $974,000 with the balance of funds coming from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and USDA Rural Development.
“We are eternally grateful to Cherokee Nation for this grant because without it we would have a hard time putting our waterline back in,” Wright said. “They have helped to make it possible for us to get a new waterline to our town and fresh water to our citizens.”
In September, CN Child Support and Human Services employees delivered school supplies to Webbers Falls School, which lost most of its supplies in the flood. The two tribal departments spent weeks collecting the school supply donations around the tribe’s 14-county area.
Webbers Falls, with a population of around 600, has a history that can be traced back to the arrival of Cherokees in the early 1800s. Today, the town is also home to the National Trail of Tears Association office.