The Grand River Dam Authority has issued a floating advisory for Sunday along the Illinois River in northeastern Oklahoma.
The GRDA reports that the water in the river is flowing about two times faster than normal. The agency warns those on the Illinois River, floating or boating, to practice extreme caution.
Other areas of concern include:
• Flint Creek gage site at the Highway 412 Bridge - east of Kansas, Okla., is running slightly above normal flows.
• There is a significant probability that thunderstorms will develop this afternoon with some storms becoming severe containing lightning and heavy rainfall.
• It’s recommended that individuals wear an approved personal flotation device at all times while floating, wading and swimming today.
• Barren Fork Creek gage site at State Hwy Bridge - Eldon at 5:30 a.m. was reporting a flow six times faster than normal. It’s recommended that individuals do not float the Barren Fork Creek today.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLOATERS, SWIMMERS AND CAMPERS
• Be sure to inform the commercial flotation device operation if you or anyone in your party are a first-time or novice floater(s) so that they may pair you with an experienced paddler/floater or float you in a raft so there is a lesser chance for capsizing;
• Wear a personal flotation device at all times;
• Never swim or boat alone. Stay within sight of companions;
• Do not float when river levels and discharge flows are higher than normal or at flood stage;
• If you capsize, stay with your flotation device on the upstream side. Resist the urge to grab a fixed object don't get pinned between the flotation device and a rock or tree;
• When tired, take a break on a gravel bar to relax;
• Do not dive into the river from bridges, bluffs, stream banks and trees;
• Do not swing on rope swings and jump into the water as there may be submerged logs and tree branches that could cause bodily harm;
• Be sure to take water, tea, Gatorade, other thirst-quenching drinks and peanut butter crackers or similar snacks. Try to avoid beer and soda pops as they tend to dehydrate the body and alcohol impairs judgment;
• Be sure to wear river wading shoes to ensure no cuts to your feet;
• Never take anything on your float trip that you don't want to lose. Check your car keys with the commercial flotation device operation for safe keeping;
• Respect the rights of fishermen and private property owners;
• Camp only in designated areas;
• Do not tie flotation devices together as it against the law and violators are subject to fine; • Do not use profanity;
• Do not use glass and Styrofoam containers;
• Wash cuts and scrapes with clean water and soap after swimming;
• Do not swim if you have cuts or scrapes;
• Do not swim near storm drains;
• Do not swim in stagnant (unmoving) water;
• Do not swim in water with a green surface scum; and,
• Do not ingest water.
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