Flood Recovery Continues For Businesses Along Illinois River Near Tahlequah

Monday, September 4th 2017, 10:18 pm
By: News On 6

While Texas is reeling from Harvey, people who work and live along the Illinois River are also recovering from flooding.

On any typical Labor Day weekend, the Illinois River would be packed with people having fun. But several months ago, the second 100-year flood hit an area near Tahlequah and business owners are making repairs, but they haven't quite bounced back just yet.

“Last year, it was more packed; it was a lot of people,” said customer Michael Chisholm. “But this year, I don't know what it was but there is a lot more logs and stuff in the water."

Michael Chisholm and his family would know. They go to the Sparrow Hawk every Labor Day. He says it's odd not having the dozens of people typically around them, replaced by logs and limbs.

"It was tough sometimes,” said Chisholm.

Even with the logs, the river is in much better shape than it was four months ago when heavy rains caused it to swell.

"The first time really, but the second time, I thought we were done,” said Sparrow Hawk Owner Gene Ellis.

He says the devastating flooding in South Texas is far too familiar.

"I feel for them,” said Sparrow. “I know what it's like to watch all of your stuff just float away."

His business isn't back to 100 percent.

This Labor Day weekend there were hardly any folks Friday or Saturday. But he's still holding out hope.

“You just have to rebuild it and keeping moving forward,” he said.

Chisholm says no matter what the flooding won’t stop their yearly tradition and they'll keep coming back.

"We are still going to come down here and have fun,” Chisholm added.

Flooding outfitters say they've been watching the flooding happening in South Texas and their hearts go out to the people; they know what it's like. But just like they are working to recover, Houston will also.