Related stories: GRDA says swim Grand at own risk.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Friday he is convinced he became ill after swimming in the algae in Grand Lake earlier this week.
"There is no question," the Oklahoma Republican said, linking what he thought was a routine dive into the lake last Monday morning to a severe upper respiratory illness.
"That night, Monday night, I was just deathly sick."
Inhofe and his wife, Kay, have had a home at the lake for decades, and he has never seen that kind of algae in the water previously.
"I didn't think anything about it," he said, recalling that he had encouraged his 13-year-old granddaughter to join him in the water but she declined.
"She didn't want to get in that green stuff."
Inhofe, whose Grand Lake home is located in Ketchum Hollow, said he is tracking the Grand River Dam Authority, which has issued a warning against direct contact with the water in the lake.
After leaving for Tulsa mid-week and missing a few votes, the 76-year-old senator expressed confidence he has turned the corner on the illness and plans to return to the U.S. Capitol next week.
Inhofe's sense of humor already has kicked in again.
One of the leading Republican voices on such issues, he suggested a few humorous takes from others: "The environment strikes back" or "Inhofe is attacked by the environment."
Jim Myers 202-484-1424
Original Print Headline: Inhofe blames illness on algae