Rainfall that occurred over the weekend had levels and flows in the Illinois River on the rise Monday morning at the Watts, Chewey and Tahlequah Gage Sites, according to a release from the Grand River Dam Authority Scenic Rivers Operation.
At 8 a.m. Monday, the stage was 8.2 feet. Action stage is 9.0 feet, and flood stage is 11.0 feet. At 9.0 feet, no flooding occurs but all recreational floating along the Illinois River ceases at and above 9.5 feet.
The GRDA recommended that only experienced floaters possessing strong paddling and swimming skills should float Monday. First-time-novice floaters and children should not float. It is paramount that all floaters wear a personal flotation device at all times while floating, wading and swimming.
There are several areas in the Illinois River where fallen trees and debris accumulations from the April 30 flood event present navigational hazards to boaters and swimmers. Navigational hazards and the fastest water currents tend to occur on the outside edge of turns or meanders. When approaching an area of the river where one cannot see a direct channel downstream, floaters and swimmers should always stay to the inside of turns and meanders, or the slowest and shallowest water area in rivers, to avoid being swept into navigational hazards.
For more information, including gages and floatcams, visit https://ok.gov/osrc.