In response to the rising flood waters that are damaging communities across the state, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday increased emergency funding by $250,000.
As the historic event continues along, Faulkner County continues closing flooded roadways.
By 2 p.m. Wednesday, a 1.3-mile portion of Highway 25 was closed.
Faulkner County Office of Emergency Management Director Sheila Bellott issued a Code Red alert following the closure to notify county residents that a portion of the highway was closed from West Cadron Ridge Road to Beaverfork Road "due to high water levels."
The Log Cabin Democrat visited the now-closed zone Wednesday morning. At the time, water levels were less than than 2 feet from spilling over the south end of the East Fork Cadron Creek Bridge.
Other roadways that have been either closed or partially shut down across the county include:Hensley Lane, located in the Harve Township in Holland. Burgess Lane, located just outside of Wooster. Bayou Road in Vilonia. Glover Road in Holland. Hwy 60 at Toad Suck Lock & Dam. Woodward Road, located just outside of Wooster. Luker Lane in Mayflower. Sand Gap Road, located in the Benedict Township in Mayflower. Jones Lane, located in the Benedict Township in Mayflower. The Easterwood Point and Lollie road intersection. The Easterwood Point Road and Highway 89 intersection. James Road in the Cadron Township. Grassy Lake Road in Mayflower. Shaw Bridge Road in Wooster. Red Oak Drive, located in the Benedict Township in Mayflower. Old Sandy Road in Mayflower. South Faulkner Meadows Road in Mayflower.
Several streets in Conway were impassible Wednesday night following a surge of severe thunderstorms.
Trees fell onto homes, over power lines and also blocked roadways following heavy winds.
Fire Chief Mike Winter said there was "widespread damage" following the evening storms.
Hutchinson described the recent flooding along the Arkansas River as "devastating" during an afternoon press conference on Wednesday.
“This is a flood of historic magnitude. It surpasses all Arkansas river flooding in our recorded history,” he said. “That should be enough to get everybody’s attention.”
Previously, the Arkansas governor issued $100,000 in relief funding. However, after he increased emergency funds to support needs associated with Arkansas River floods, now $350,000 is set aside for the flooding event.
President Donald Trump announced in a social media post that the Federal Emergency Management Agency "and the Federal Government will do whatever is necessary to help out with what has turned out to be Record Flooding" in Arkansas.
On Thursday, Hutchinson will make an aerial assessment along the Arkansas River to begin mitigating what measures need to be taken next.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) of Little Rock, the Arkansas River is expected to crest at 285.5 feet at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam on Monday and cause historic flooding.
Because of massive releases of water upstream in Oklahoma and rain in the forecast in Arkansas, experts are predicting the Arkansas River will rise to never-before-seen levels and flow faster than ever as the water releases continue from upstream.
The city of Conway will post daily updates after Mayor Bart Castleberry meets with department heads and other officials. On Tuesday, the city set up a hotline for updates and questions at 501-328-4176.
City and county officials said that at this point, drinking water has not been contaminated. However, due to flooding along Conway streets, the Conway Department Sanitation will close "until further notice."
CDS Administrative Assistant Mandy Cates said the landfill, customer convenience area and yard waste facility will close because of flooding in the city.
"Residential, commercial, and industrial collections of trash and recyclables will continue as regularly scheduled," she said via news release Wednesday. "Collection of yard waste has been suspended until internal road conditions improve. We ask that residents put their carts out to the curb on their regular collection day and leave them at the curb until [trash is] collected."
While residents across Faulkner County have expressed concerns about the possibility of waters spilling over the Lollie Levee, officials said the levee is "holding up as just as it was designed to do."
"Conditions at the Lollie Levee and Lake Conway are being monitored closely," Kelly said.
A breach in Perry County allowed on Wednesday for water levels to remain where they were Tuesday. While the city does not foresee waters spilling over the Lollie Levee, officials warn residents to be ready and mindful of the possibility.
"If the Lollie Levee [breaks], in eight hours there would be 8 inches of water spilling into Conway at Walmart [on Dave Ward Drive]," Kelly said. "It would be a slow thing, at least that's what our engineers are saying."
Kelly said he and other city officials wanted to reiterate that it is "very unlikely" the levee will overflow or breach.
During his announcement Wednesday afternoon, Hutchinson said he also sent off a letter to President Trump requesting additional assistance.
The letter cites uncertainties regarding the imminent damages the flood will leave behind and the state's ability to keep up and render aide on its own.
"I have determined this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary," the letter reads in part. "In recent days, a ridge of high pressure has built over the southeastern United States. In the recent days, 10-15 inches of rainfall has fallen in parts of the plains and Midwest, affecting northeast Oklahoma requiring releases on the Arkansas River Basin."
By reaching out for additional assistance now, Hutchinson said he hopes to get ahead of the pending problems that Arkansas will face.
Major flooding is expected through the week and also into early June, according to weather officials.
The Arkansas National Guard has been deployed to assist in relief efforts. Currently, the National Guard has deployed two high-water rescue teams.
Maj. Gen. Mark H. Berry said it is likely more deployments will follow and that currently 60 soldiers have been deployed.
Faulkner County residents in need of a shelter can stay at a center opened by the Red Cross over the weekend at the Don Owen Sports Center in Conway. Other shelters are available in Dardanelle and Fort Smith.
The Faulkner County center can house 300 residents and also has an emergency animal shelter nearby. This is the first time a shelter has been established for animals in the county. The emergency shelter is headed by the Faulkner County Animal Response Team and stationed at the Faulkner County Rodeo Arena at 10 Lower Ridge Road in Conway.
The facility is open to pet owners from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Volunteers helping to care for area animals encourage pet owners to visit their furry friends.
Those in need of sandbags can pick them up at the Conway Transportation Department, the Beaverfork Fire Department and also at the Highway 286 Fire Department.
Volunteers are needed daily to help fill sandbags. Self-fill sandbag stations have also been set up outside of Mayflower City Hall and at 1292 E. Dave Ward Drive, across from Red Robin.