The Arkansas River at Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam was forecast to hit major flood stage early Saturday and remain in the moderate flood stage until late Sunday.
Flood stage begins at 275 feet and becomes moderate flood stage at 278 feet. Major flood stage begins at 280 feet.
The record for the area is 282.9 feet, which was on May 7, 1990.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared Faulkner County a disaster area on Friday, following recent rainfall and flooding in the county.
The National Weather Service of Little Rock on Friday predicted the river would rise to 280 feet, the major flood stage, shortly after midnight with a flow of 400,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). The average flow is 20,000-30,000 CFS.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday closed the Toad Suck Ferry Lock (No. 8) because of "high flows on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System" and expects the lock to remain closed through the weekend at least, spokesman Jay Townsend said.
"The water has risen above the hydraulic systems that swings the gates open and closed," he said. "You don’t want to create damage by using it while it’s under water."
With a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms for Saturday, the NWS extended the river flood warning at Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam until Wednesday evening, noting that the warning could be canceled prior to that.
Look for in-depth flood coverage in Sunday’s edition.
(Staff writer Jeanette Anderton can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to thecabin.net. Send us your news at thecabin.net/submit)