Illinois River Expected To Reach Near Record Crest

News 6 - May 5, 2022 10:27 pm


There is a lot of concern for Cherokee County as the Illinois River is expected to be a near record crest on Friday morning, May 6. Water is already over 18 feet high – almost going into the highway.

All outfitters along the Illinois River are in the same boat as they try to move everything to higher ground.

“They’re just doing everything they can to get everything up to higher ground and to minimize any losses that we have,” said Cody Bartmess, All American Floats. Cody Bartmess and his family own All American Floats.

They just set up for the season, with t-shirts and souvenirs ready for the hundreds of people expected this week. On Thursday, they rushed to empty their building and call everyone to cancel their reservations through this weekend.

“We had some senior trips, Cub Scout groups, different things like that. Yeah, it hurts the wallet with a little bit, but God’s good and he provides,” Cody Bartmess said.

Illinois River Expected To Reach Near Record Crest

Rafts and kayaks are packed up, but they had to leave buses behind that got stuck.

“This one, it just rained so hard so fast up into the area where it dumps the water in that it just rose really quickly,” said Bartmess.

Thankfully, they have four other buses ready for when they re-open sometime next week. Meanwhile, throughout Cherokee County, crews are assessing and trying to fix damaged roads, like Indian Road near the Cherokee – Sequoyah County Line.

Scott Pettus with Tahlequah-Cherokee County Emergency Management said four major highways and some county roads are shut down. He said crews and volunteers are working 24/7.

“Where we can get things moving again in our county just for ways of life for our residents. That’s the big thing,” Scott Pettus, Tahlequah-Cherokee County Emergency Management said.

You can report damage to the emergency management office at: 918-456-2894.


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