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Illinois River Businesses Bracing for Worst (Apr 25, 2011)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Float-trip operators along the Illinois River in northeastern Oklahoma are sandbagging cabins and hauling canoes, rafts and other equipment out of the water as a storm system that's been blamed for two deaths in Oklahoma continues to dump rain on the area.

War Eagle Resort owner Joyce Blackwell says forecasters are calling for the Illinois River to crest at 23 feet in her area — more than 10 feet above flood stage.

Major flooding is expected in the next two days in the Illinois River basin with Tahlequah, Flint, Eldon and Watts being the hardest-hit towns. Residents and businesses are being warned to be prepared to move.

Forecasters say more storms are expected late Monday and Tuesday before the system finally pushes out of the state by Wednesday.

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