Severe weather is expected in Faulkner County and other parts of the state through Thursday.
Joe Goudsward, a spokesman with the National Weather Service of Little Rock, said heavy rainfall is expected in the area over the next few days.
A cold front was expected to move in Tuesday, bringing with it "widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms," he said, noting the precipitable water values, or "the amount of water that theoretically could fall" is currently up 250 percent more than it typically would be at this time of year.
This combination, he said, causes some concerns.
"The concern is the cold front will be parallel to the upper winds and will really have nothing to push it through," Goudsward said. "As a result, rain will be persistent and with the amount of moisture available, heavy at times."
The front will push itself through the state on Thursday and will "briefly stall along the gulf coast before lifting back to the north for additional rain chances Thursday night and continuing into Saturday," he said. Heavy rainfall is possible to continue until late Saturday when the system clears. At this point, Goudsward said flood alerts have already been issued across the state.
"Flood watches are already in effect for almost all of Arkansas at this time," he said. "The timing of the watches differs across parts of the state."
Faulkner County Office of Emergency Management Director Sheila Bellott said she recommends residents to sign up for CodeRED alerts if they have not already done so.
"We've got severe weather coming up, it's severe weather season. To me, the biggest thing [to get across to residents] as far as preparedness is the notifications — your early warning. Whether it's CodeRED or [other] apps that you can sign up for," she said, noting the importance of signing up for more than one alert system.
CodeRED alerts send notices within moments of the NWS issuing a severe thunderstorm, flash flood or tornado warnings and are sent out via text and voice message.
Belott said it's important to double check whether one's enrollment is up to date. Residents can enroll online at www.faulknercounty.org. Those who have moved or switched phone numbers will need to re-enroll to receive alerts. Bellott also said OEM staff can help county residents without internet access enroll for CodeRED.
"If you don't have internet access, you can call the OEM and give them [your information] so that they can sign you up, because you can still receive alerts [without internet access]," she said, noting she advises participants to sign up for both text and voice message alerts, because the phone call is often issued quicker than text alerts.
County Attorney David Hogue said that with severe weather approaching, it's important for county residents to have a game plan.
"Figure out now what you're going to do once you get the [emergency] notification," he said. "Don't wait until you get the notification and then figure out what you're going to do, because you're not going to have time."
Goudsward said strong thunderstorms could possible hit Saturday as the cold front moves through the region and that the NWS expects around six inches of rainfall over the next few days, which could lead to flash flooding.
"Widespread, total rain amounts up to six inches or more seems plausible with this system," he said. "As a result, flash flooding and eventually river flooding will be a concern and could be dependent upon where the axis of heavy rain sets up. The north and west have seen very dry conditions of late and if the heavy rain falls here, the impacts cold be lessened somewhat. However, the southeast has seen a lot of rain lately and if the heavy rain axis sets up here, it could be much more problematic."