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Illinois River Open for Business Despite Flooding (May 27, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahomans who visit the Illinois River during the long Memorial Day weekend will get a first-hand look at damage to the river bank and recreational facilities caused by last month's flooding.

Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts President Joe Parker says flooding along the river may have caused as much as $1.5 million in damage to stream banks, fences, streamside bathroom facilities and camp sites

But Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission director Ed Fite says the Illinois is still open for recreational use.

The river crested at more than 28 feet at Watts on April 26. That broke the previous record of 26 feet set in 1960. At Tahlequah, the river crested on April 27 at almost 26 feet, two feet below the record set in 1950.

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