Tahlequah residents expect Illinois River to flood

Posted at 9:22 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 23:24:00-04

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Rain expected to hit Green Country hard Friday night. The worst is said to be Cherokee County, where Tahlequah is supposed to get between 3 ad 6 inches. 

The water is moving at a fast pace down the Illinois River, due to storms from last week. 

"It's already gotten six of my river-fronts, tore them out." Sparrow Hawk Camp Owner Gene Ellis said.

The ground is now saturated, making those in Tahlequah worried for Friday's rain. 

"We're going to have to wait and see what this does before we start repairing our camp," Ellis said.

Gene Ellis owns Sparrow Hawk Camp. He's already moved equipment and buses to higher ground. 

"Replace the RV's sots, all the water lines," he said. "It ripped all the water lines out of the ground last year. You know I've got probably $48,000 to $50,000 just in the campground itself." 

Tahlequah Emergency Management Director Mike Underwood says the predicted rainfall is a little too familiar. 

"It could possibly be similar to the 2015 floods right after Christmas," he said.

Underwood says he hopes those hundreds of homes along the Illinois River don't have to go through yet another devastation. 

"They got through it," he said. "To my knowledge we didn't lose any life, but we had a lot of lives that were disrupted." 

As the river fills up, Cherokee County residents are prying the water won't destroy any homes. 

The EOC will be open until Sunday at noon. 

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