Illinois River Resort Begins Cleanup After Flooding

Thursday, April 28th 2011, 5:11 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- One of Oklahoma's scenic rivers isn't all that scenic right now. Water is receding on the Illinois River, but returning to normal will take a little longer.

2/26/2011 Related Story: SkyNews6 Shows Devastation Of Illinois River Flooding

At Peyton's Place Resort on the Illinois River, they're trying to return to normal after an abnormal storm brought history making flooding. In more than 40 years on the river, no one had ever seen anything like this.

"Just the power of the water is almost deafening. Just absolute power, it's amazing to see it," Casey Peyton said.

The flood water didn't get inside the cabins or store, but it did wipe out many of the improvements Peyton's Place has made over the past year.

"We brought in tons and tons of sand and got grass growing, it was looking great and, oh well," Peyton said.

Crews are busy repairing a water line to the restroom, where the water was 24 feet above normal and got up to the signs.  Rock from the river sits eight feet deep in some places, it wasn't even here before the flood.

"Every bit of it came down the river," Peyton said.

The campsites at Peyton's Place resort are covered by several feet of flooding.

Just to give you an idea of how powerful the Illinois River was during the flood, there's enough rock to cover six football fields and that rock would be three feet deep.

At the height of the storm, Highway 10 was closed. It has since reopened. The bridge over the Illinois River is now also open again. The water is receding, but the work is just beginning for the people who live and work along the Illinois River.

There is a lot to do before the float season really gets going Memorial Day weekend, which is only weeks away.

"Completely amazing to see it. I don't want to see it again," Peyton said.

Casey Peyton is confident they'll be ready. With the water receding, and with hard work, he hopes the rapid rise of the river will soon be just a muddy memory.