Officials with Faulkner County and the city of Conway are preparing for major flooding and urging residents to do the same.
““We’re preparing for the worst,” city spokesman Bobby M. Kelly III said.
On Thursday, the Toad Suck Ferry Lock was closed to traffic due to high flows on McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
Flows at Toad Suck Lock and Dam are at 165,000 c.f.s. and expected to peak Tuesday, May 28 at about 485,000 c.f.s, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said Thursday afternoon.
“This flood could be larger than anything we’ve seen since the McClellan-Kerr was put in,” County Judge Jim Baker said. “That’s pretty frightening.”
Baker said that if need be, he will issue a mandatory evacuation.
“We’ll all be watching. If it comes down to it, that’s what we will do,” he said of evacuation.
The Don Owen Sports Complex will be open to evacuated residents who need it.
The American Red Cross will be on hand with cots and other supplies.
he National Weather Service offices in Tulsa and Little Rock have issued multiple flood warnings for communities in Arkansas, with some areas forecasted to exceed levels that occurred during the flood of 1990, the American Red Cross said in a news release.
“We are in constant communication with local emergency management officials, and have trained disaster response staff and volunteers ready to respond to support the community,” Lori Arnold, executive director of the Greater Arkansas Chapter said.
Residents are encouraged to download the free Red Cross Emergency App, available in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross,” visiting redcross.org/apps. The app provides emergency alerts and useful emergency preparedness information, officials said. In the event a Red Cross shelter is opened, individuals and families are encouraged to bring the following items with them:
• Clothing for a few days.
• Essential medication.
• A child’s stuffed animal, blanket or other items.
• Emergency kits, if they have them.
Faulkner County and Conway District Court Judge Chris Carnahan announced people on misdemeanor probation or owe community service work will receive double credit if they help fill sandbags in anticipation of the flooding.
“They will need to contact their probation officer or the Faulkner County District Court to arrange a time to help in this crisis,” Holly Beck, Division II head clerk, said. “For probationers, you can contact Officer Simmons at 501-504-9718 or Officer Graham at 501-499-5389; for community work servicers, you can contact 501-450-6112 ext. 3517. You will need to go to the Office of Emergency Management at 57 Acklin Gap Road in Conway between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.”
The river forecast website is https://water.weather.gov.