High water prompts Illinois River warning

High water prompts Illinois River warning

CREATED May. 24, 2013

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma's Scenic Rivers Commission is warning holiday travelers not to swim or canoe the Illinois River after a week of heavy rainfall in northeast Oklahoma.

Commission member Ed Fite warns campers that river levels are high and the water is moving twice as fast as usual.

Fite told television station KTUL it's too dangerous to swim, tube or canoe over the Memorial Day weekend.

The commission also says fallen trees and debris along with the fast-moving currents are the main concerns.

Fite says there have been four near-drownings on the Illinois River this year.

The National Weather Service in Tulsa reports that the Illinois River near Tahlequah is at 7.7 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet.

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Read more about it and see a video version of the story at KTUL.com