Businesses Along Illinois River Monitoring High Water Levels Ahead Of Busy Weekend

Businesses Along Illinois River Monitoring High Water Levels Ahead Of Busy Weekend

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There are flooding concerns across Oklahoma, including along the Illinois River. 

The Illinois River in Tahlequah is forecast to reach nearly seven feet by Saturday morning. The seven-foot mark is the level at which many businesses do not rent floats for people on the water. The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest for businesses along the Illinois.

Thousands of people still have plans to enjoy the outdoors but they will have to make some adjustments because of all the rain this week. Jacob and Allison Williams and their four children from Skiatook are celebrating Independence Day early by camping along the Illinois River.

“Tomorrow, we plan on floating and just exploring and enjoying Oklahoma and the crazy weather it brings us,” said Jacob Williams. 

The Illinois River near Tahlequah got a foot of water over the last 24 hours. As of Thursday night, the National Weather Service reported the river level at six feet, which is close to dangerous levels for some activities on the water. 

Amy Grogan, the owner of Peyton’s Place Resort, explained to News On 6. 

“The water levels have to get up to five, five, and a half feet before we stop kayaking and canoeing,” said Grogan. “And then we stop rafting at seven feet.”

Upriver at Arrowhead Resort, co-owner Austin Spears said as long as there is no lightning or storms, each resort can decide what is best for their visitors based on guidelines.

“I floated 14 rafts today,” said Spears. “14 rafts, a couple of kayaks, people had a good time.”

The Williams Family said they are looking forward to this weekend’s dry forecast and making more memories. Both Peyton’s Place and Arrowhead Resorts said they expect at least 800 people each day on their property from Friday to Monday.

They recommend guests call to confirm reservations and openings before coming out.

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