MIAMI, Okla. — The City of Miami is hoping to address infrastructure issues caused by the flooding of the Neosho River and Tar Creek.

“Once a property is damaged beyond repair or is in a flood plane, those properties can no longer be maintained, so they need to come down,” said Bo Reese, Miami City Manager.

The City of Miami will now be getting some assistance in this effort thanks to a roughly $800,000 grant from the federal emergency management association.

“The grant funds will allow us to demolish old structures that need to come down that have been red-tagged from the 2019 flood in Miami,” said Reese.

The project focuses on 11 properties that exist in the flood plane caused by the Neosho River and Tar Creek.

“Of the 11, three are commercial properties, and so those will be coming down first. One of them is the old Thunderbird Theater that I myself grew up attending that theater so obviously there’s a lot of memories for me there,” said Reese.

While future buildings aren’t likely to replace any of the demolished ones, Reese says the demolition of buildings along the Neosho River could provide the potential for a new project.

“It opens up better opportunities in a potential partnership with the department of transportation to raise that road out there, Highway 125 by those properties since we will now own those properties next to it,” said Reese.

Demolition is expected to be an ongoing effort for the foreseeable future and residents are advised to remain cautious.

“We want to make sure citizens are aware that these properties are being demoed. We want people to steer clear of any construction site we have going on,” said Reese.