Families Begin Cleanup, Repairs After Flooding Of Illinois River
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Now that the water level on the Illinois River is going down, families who live along it are beginning the cleanup process.
Some people lost their homes and they took advantage of Tuesday's sunshine to help dry out everything they own.
In one area, the Illinois River is down to about eight and a half feet since it crested Sunday afternoon.
Ten miles away in a small village, there's a big mess to clean up.
Among the path of destruction at the Illinois River Village, resident Jacqui Morris still sees the beauty.
"I love it here. I love it - it's God's green earth," Morris said.
Two houses and three mobile homes are destroyed and uprooted trees can be found at every turn.
"The way this tree fell, it literally pulled the roots up and then the tree slid under my deck," Morris said.
Folks who live here say this is not the first time this has happened.
"If you're gonna live on the river, you just have to accept it. You know, and just try to do better next time," Morris said.
Morris has lived here for almost four years and dealt with the December 2015 flood.
One couple who lost their home lived here for 20 years.
"They're going to just tear theirs down. I don't know where they're going to go from here," she said.
While the mess gives a whole new meaning to the idea of 'spring cleaning,' Morris said the hard work to get things back to normal will be well worth it.
"The community is awesome. There's a lot of Vietnam vets and retirees out here, and it's very peaceful. Get out of the city chaos and into God's Country. How could you not love it?" Morris said.
The Red Cross is helping people who live in the village, and thankfully, no one who lives there was hurt.