Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

Kingfisher, OK, August 19, 2007 -- A Rescue Boat searches for stranded people in downtown Kingfisher. People were rescued when flood waters rose and stranded them.
Marvin Nauman / Federal Emergency Management Agency

Kingfisher has received a 2014 Municipal Innovation Award for its ongoing work on a flood mitigation project.

The town received the honor for a city under 10,000 population on Thursday from the Oklahoma Municipal League.

Kingfisher recently completed the first phase of a flood plain buyout program using $7 million in local, state and federal funds to clean up properties along a flood plain area.

Work on solving the problem began in 2007 after remnants of Tropical Storm Erin caused a devastating flood in Kingfisher that caused more than $20 million in damage.