Water rose higher and higher Wednesday below the Illinois River bridge on State Highway 51.

Standing water caused officials to close some roads in Cherokee County to traffic.

State Highway 10 was closed at Hanging Rock camp north of Tahlequah. Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Administrator Ed Fite said as flooding conditions continued to develop, officials were anticipating having to close S.H. 10 at No Head Public Access.

State Highway 80 between Hulbert and Wildwood was also closed due to the high water. The Department of Public Safety Web site was also reporting closure of Welling Road from Jim Clay Mountain south to S.H. 100 and North 626 Road in the Rocky Ford area.

Fite said the Illinois River was expected to crest at 21.9 feet at 4 a.m., which would produce major flooding. Minimum flood stage at Tahlequah is 11 feet. The record flood stage at Tahlequah is 27.9 feet reported on May 10, 1950.

The river is not expected to fall below flood stage at Tahlequah until Friday morning.

Five and a half inches of rain fell at the river during the storm system that moved through Cherokee County Monday night and all day Tuesday. The National Weather Service Web site showed up to 7 inches was recorded during the same time at the Tahlequah airport.

Officials reported Barren Fork Creek at Eldon crested Wednesday morning at 21.89 feet, which is in the moderate flooding level, and short of the 26.8 feet record set eight years ago.

The rainfall caused the Illinois River to crest at its third-highest level ever Wednesday morning when it reached 24.73 feet. Flood stage at Watts is 13 feet.

Several cabin parks along the river are expected to see severe flooding and others will be isolated.

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