Float Operators Ready For Safe Holiday Weekend On Illinois River
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Grand River Dam Authority wants people to be prepared for rapid river conditions.
A lot of companies along the Illinois River are preparing for a busy 4th of July.
Many of our local rivers are getting back to their normal conditions but GRDA still wants people to be prepared if they’re going to be out on the water.
“If I see something like that happen just all of a sudden make my first move and go in after them, try not to let it be too late to get to them,” All American Floats employee Justin Smith said.
Justin has worked for All American for two years now and has witnessed many close calls with people on the river.
“She jumped out of the raft and the current took her around the river and finally I realized this girl was struggling,” he said.
That’s why companies like All American Floats take extra precautions, like making sure everyone has a life jacket as well as informing them of currents.
“It’s part of life on the Illinois River. There are some obstacles, they move, and change around, but all in all the River is very safe and it’s a very peaceful river,” All American Floats Owner Cody Bartmess said.
Related Story: Illinois River Faces Flooding In Oklahoma
The Illinois River was high recently from flooding and it affected businesses along the river.
“We should be sold out for a couple of days and we need it because the first month was kind of a loss,” Bartmess said.
Grand River Dam Authority advises everyone to be safe on the river.
“The float operators and the river crews are really good at keeping an eye on that, but just be mindful of that and work to steer your raft or canoe around those areas,” said Justin Alberty with GRDA.
Alberty said to protect personal belongings so people can return home safely.
“We’re hoping everyone’s ready to swim and float and have a good time,” Bartmess said.