Tulsa may not be the first city that comes to mind as an oil boomtown, cities in Texas or those along the Gulf Coast are more likely, but, considering this northeast Oklahoma "Sooner-ville's" history it could arguably be crowned the oil capital of the U.S. After oil was first discovered here in 1901, people flocked to the area in a quest for liquid riches. In the 1920's, more than 100,000 people and over 400 oil companies called Tulsa home. Though profits have ebb and flowed over time, the city remains an oil economic hub with industry titans such as Williams Companies, SemGroup, and Syntroleum establishing headquarters here.
Fortunately for residents, it's not all drilling and dripping in Tulsa. The city of roughly 400,000 inhabitants also serves as the state's arts and cultural center with two well known museums (Philbrook and Gilcrease) and a variety of dance and musical groups including: the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not very kind to Tulsa. The city lies in the heart of "Tornado Alley" and, as the nickname implies, Tulsa has been plagued by destructive twisters through history. In addition to the forceful winds that accompany tornados, torrential rain storms and flooding also wreak havoc on the city. From 1970 to 1985, the metro-area had nine federally-declared flood disasters, more than any other city. The Arkansas River meanders through Tulsa limits and while it creates a fantastic running route, it also threatens structures and human life when rising above its banks.