Flooding Causes Issues For Businesses Along Illinois River
News 6 - May 8, 2022 1:40 pm
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma –
All of the recent rain in Green Country caused the Illinois River to rise near record levels, forcing businesses along the river to close on what was supposed to be a busy weekend.
The river crested at 27.53 feet Friday morning, but the water is slowly receding. The water has already dropped several feet.
Workers at All American Floats said they quickly watched the water come up while they were trying to save their equipment. They said they are thankful to see it go back down, but they know they have a lot of work ahead of them.
“We were completely booked out for this weekend until this hit,” said Benjamin Cruze who works at All American Floats.
It was supposed to be a busy weekend of floating along the Illinois River, but businesses have been forced to cancel reservations because of the flooding.
“Right out here we have a covered bus that’s out there and when I was here this morning all you could see was the top of that lid sticking up, and now it’s dropped down to where you can see the whole top of the bus,” said Cruze.
Most campgrounds along the river are flooded. Some businesses were able to keep their equipment dry, while others at lower elevations are dealing with flooded buildings.
“Yesterday we were out here from about 7:30 to 5 and it was coming up about every 30 minutes, every couple of feet,” said Cruze.
Another man who owns Sparrow Hawk Camp said he can’t get down to his business. They spent yesterday moving stuff to high ground.
Like the other outfitters, they’ve been forced to cancel reservations which puts a damper on business.
“We did have a lot scheduled and we were going to be busy. It’s unpredictable. We had to tell them no, no. We can’t have you,” said John Townshend who owns Sparrow Hawk Camp.
Unfortunately, they are all trained to deal with flooding along the river. “Last year we went through this four times during the season before it even kicked off,” said Cruze.
Several sections along I-10 were covered with water, but the water has dropped enough to clear the highway.
To report any damage, call the emergency management office at 918-456-2894.