TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. - Floating and other water recreation was put on hold Saturday near Tahlequah as the Illinois River crested above 14 feet.
According to the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, normal height for the river near Tahlequah during this time of year is a little more than six feet.
The moderate flood level did not close any roads in the area, but it did call for a stop to recreational floating, canoeing and kayaking, which are critical money making components to camp grounds like Sparrow Hawk Camp, just outside Tahlequah.
"I've seen it worse out here, and actually, I'm glad we got this water that we got right now because it's going to be great floating this summer," said Annetta Adams with Sparrow Hawk Camp.
Adams was in good spirits despite the fact that her 50 acre camp site was completely covered in water Saturday. She was forced to call a group of 30 to cancel their float due to the moderate flooding.
The summers are a critical time for camps like Sparrow Hawk because they rely on summer cash flow to hold them over for the winter when the customer base vanishes.
"They don't shut our electric off in the wintertime. We still have electric meters to pay, so, you know, we have to have a good summer to make it through the winter," she said.
Ed Fite, administrator for the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, said he expects the water to return to its normal level next week unless heavy rains continue.
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