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article imageWorst flooding in recorded history expected in Arkansas this week

By Karen Graham     May 26, 2019 in World
Residents in parts of Arkansas were preparing for what meteorologists on Sunday predicted will be the worst flooding in recorded history along parts of the Arkansas River over the coming week.
The National Weather Service said in the statement that levee “overtopping” is likely with “significant impacts to life and property across a very large area.”
The Arkansas River at Van Buren has now surpassed the all-time level set in 1945. According to the National Weather Service, the current river level is at 38.14 feet. The previous historic crest of 38.10 feet was set during the 1945 flood. However, the river will continue to rise and is expected to crest at 42.5 feet on Wednesday.
The new forecast for the Arkansas River near Van Buren AR is near 42.5 feet.  The latest observation...
The new forecast for the Arkansas River near Van Buren AR is near 42.5 feet. The latest observation is 37.76 feet and the record is 38.10 set in April of 1945.
NOAA/NWS
Northeast Oklahoma has been drenched with heavy rain that is pouring into the Arkansas River, prompting authorities to open shelters, recommend evacuations and block roadways across the state, reports the Associated Press. On Saturday, near Fort Smith, one house was completely submerged on Saturday and another 500 or so homes were in imminent danger of being submerged.
On Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the coming flooding. By Saturday, the state Department of Emergency Management was at level-one readiness, meaning it was staffed for a major event, spokesman Melody Daniel said.
And while no injuries have been reported so far, the National Weather Service says to expect flooding to break records in Van Buren, Morrilton and Toad Suck in Faulkner County and will come close to breaking records in Ozark and Dardanelle.
State authorities are advising people to stay away from the river recreation areas and are warning boaters and swimmers to stay off the Arkansas River until further notice.
Laurie Driver, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said that small craft advisories are issued when the Arkansas River reaches a flow rate of 70,000 cubic feet per second. On Saturday, the flow rate had reached 406,000 cubic feet at Van Buren and is expected to reach 560,000 cubic feet per second by Tuesday, Driver said.
More about Arkansas, Arkansas river, historic flooding, emergency notification system, mandatory evacuations
 
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