A notice was announced by Ed Fite, vice president for GRDA Rivers Operations and Water Quality, Wednesday evening that a significant probability exists for additional rainfall to occur within the Illinois River Basin before the weekend.

It is anticipated that flooding may occur on Friday. Watts Gage will crest Friday morning, moving downstream with crest at Tahlequah Gage that evening, according to Fite’s notice.

On Wednesday afternoon, Fite visited the office of the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center and National Weather Service-Tulsa.

“They’re confident that precipitation will begin developing overnight and may extend through early Friday morning,” said Fite. “At this moment, it’s too early to say with specificity how much precipitation may be received.”

Rain modeling suggests that 1-4 inches is possible over the Illinois River Basin.

“This is unfortunate news as the Illinois River has recovered from last weekend’s 'Major' Flooding,” said Fite.

Illinois River water levels have fallen considerably since this past weekend’s “major” flood, but levels remain approximately 2-plus feet higher than what are average levels.

All tributaries of the river, including the adjacent riparian and uplands areas are wet with soils saturated.

Modeling suggests that should 2 inches of precipitation occur over the Illinois River Basin, water levels will quickly rise to bank full conditions to “minor” flood stage, according to Fite.

Avoid driving after dark along the Highway 10 corridor and its secondary roads during rainfall. Never drive into water covering a roadway, turn around don’t drown.

Fite said additional updates will be announced as river conditions warrant.

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