The National Weather Service has issued stern warnings for those engaged in water activities in northeastern Oklahoma on Saturday and into Sunday.
Floating and Camping Advisory: The NWS-Tulsa has issued an advisory saying there is an “Enhanced Risk” for Severe Weather to develop over the Illinois River Basin Saturday extending through Sunday morning due to the “most unstable air mass of the year.”
• Tornado Potential: Elevated
• Severe Storm Potential: Significant
It’s expected that initial scattered storms may develop as early as 5 p.m. Saturday, then becoming more widespread over the Illinois River Basin from 7p.m. to 2 a.m.
Scattered storms generally are associated with increased hail size and some increase in tornado potential.
Widespread storms means increased straight wind threat, decreased tornado potential and smaller hail size.
There is Enhanced Risk for Flash Flooding to occur this Weekend.
Floaters and Campers should be prepared to move to higher ground and shelter.
Water levels and flows continue Saturday morning to be on a slow fall at all Stream Gage Sites.
For this weekend, Commercial Flotation Device Operations recommend that first-time, novice floaters and children do not float in canoes, kayaks or inner tubes, but rather be teamed with experienced floaters using rafts. All floaters should wear a personal flotation device at all times while floating, wading and swimming.
Warning: There are several areas in the Illinois River where fallen trees and debris accumulations from the April 30 floods pose navigational hazards to boaters and swimmers.
CURRENT LEVELS AND FLOWS
*CFS/Cubic Feet per Second (multiply value (CFS) x 450 = Gallons per Minute (GPM) passing the gage site)
• WATTS GAGE-U.S. 59 HWY BRIDGE – Level/Flow on Slow Fall
As of 5:00 a.m. 4.77 Feet and 789 CFS (355,050 gallons a minute passing the gage)
Normal for this day is 513 CFS (230,850 GPM).
Flood stage for this gage site is 13.0 Feet.
• CHEWEY GAGE – HAMPTON BRIDGE ON CHEWEY ROAD – Level/Flow on Slow Fall
As of 5:15 a.m. 6.02 Feet and 1,070 CFS (7,695,000 gallons a minute passing the gage)
Normal for this day approximately 775 CFS (348,750 GPM).
Flood stage for this gage site is 12.0 Feet
• TAHLEQUAH GAGE-U.S. 62 HWY BRIDGE – Level/Flow on Slow Fall
As of 5:00 a.m. 6.77 Feet and 1,950 CFS (877,500 gallons a minute passing the gage)
Normal for this day 844 CFS (379,800 GPM).
Flood stage for this gage site is 11.0 Feet
• KANSAS GAGE – U.S. 412 HWY BRIDGE – Level/Flow on Slow Fall
As of 5:30 a.m. 6.67 Feet and 185 CFS (83,250 gallons a minute passing the gage)
Normal for this day 112 CFS (50,400 GPM).
Flood stage for this gage site is 11.0 Feet.
BARREN FORK CREEK
• ELDON GAGE – S.H. 51 HWY BRIDGE – Level/Flow on Slow Fall
As of 5:30 a.m. 6.62 Feet and 214 CFS (96,300 gallons a minute passing the gage)
Normal for this day 245 CFS (110,250 GPM).
Flood stage for this gage site is 18.0 Feet
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLOATERS, SWIMMERS AND CAMPERS
Other considerations for a safe float trip:
• 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;
• Take a shorter length float trip (especially in rafts and inner tubes) when river levels are at Summer-time lows and winds are out of the South greater than 10mph;
• Do not dive into the river from bridges, bluffs, streambanks 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 bring sunglasses, extra cover up clothing, hat and suntan lotion. The sun reflecting off the water will give a person without sunglasses a headache and the extra clothing gives an opportunity not to sunburn;
• 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. Avoid being trapped by rising water against bluffs or on gravel bars;
• Do not tie flotation devices together as it against the law and violators are subject to fine;
• Stay away from any area that has floating debris, oil sheens or dead fish;
• Do not swim after a heavy rain;
• Do not swim in water with a temperature greater than 80ºF;
• 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.
To Report Emergencies: Call 911
Vice-President for Scenic Rivers and Water Quality
Grand River Dam Authority
Office: (918) 456-3251
Work Cell: (918) 323-6825
Personal Cell: (918) 207-8180
Home: (918) 456-3941
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