CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Significant flooding is occurring along the Illinois River in Cherokee County as the river continues to swell after several days of excessive rainfall.

The Illinois River near Tahlequah has reached major flood stage as of Sunday morning and is currently forecasted to crest at a height near 19.5 feet by Sunday afternoon. This is expected to cause severe flooding in areas near the river.

According to the National Weather Service River Forecast Center, when the river reaches 19 feet, severe flooding occurs from near Hanging Rock downstream towards Tahlequah. State Highway 10 near Hanging Rock and near No Head Hollow north of the intersection with Highway 62 may become impassable. Some cabins and parks are severely flooded. This is a very dangerous situation.

The river is expected to begin slowly falling late Sunday afternoon into Sunday night and is currently forecasted to fall below minor flood stage by late Monday night.