Officials closed traffic on Lollie Road following a flux of traffic that made it difficult for emergency crews to assess the area effectively.
As of Thursday, authorities blocked off traffic in the area until further notice. Emergency personnel and Lollie residents will be allowed to drive through the area, Conway spokesman Bobby M. Kelly III said.
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.
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.
Castleberry issued a public notice following the Lollie Road closure to dispel rumors circulating the web.
"The levee has not [breached]," he said. "The levee continues to do what it's supposed to do."
The levee has showed zero signs of abnormal leakage and is not filled with debris, he said.
Tucker Creek residents do not face the same dangers they did following the heavy rains in 2017 that caused flash flooding in the area. While the flooding event was devastating to some, and the city had concerns with rain expected in the week's forecast, residents along the creek should not worry, he said.
"The 2017 flood was from a large rainfall. This is not a flash food event, this is a slow event that we've known was coming for quite some time," Castleberry said.
Rainfall was a concern, but "Tucker Creek handled [the rain] just fine," Castleberry said.
Sheriff's officials are also warning residents in the Wintercreek neighborhood, located off Highway 89 North, of high waters in the area.
"If you live in the Wintercreek neighborhood off 89N and drive anything smaller than a SUV, you will need to use the shale pit access as cars are flooding out at the intersection," officials said.
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office spokesman Erinn Stone said roads that are closed have been shut down for a reason and said residents should pay attention to barricades as well as areas with high waters that have not yet been closed.
"Those in flooded areas or areas that could flood, if they are able to get out, they need to without putting themselves in danger," she told the Log Cabin Democrat. "It is important to remember if a road is closed or barricaded, it is done so for a reason. Just looking at the water, you can't tell how deep the water is. It's not just your life at risk if you decide to go around the barricades. If the road is flooded, just turn around and find an alternate route."
The 1.3-mile portion of Highway 25 that was shut down Wednesday also remains closed. The highway was closed from West Cadron Ridge Road to Beaverfork Road due to high water levels. By Thursday morning, the roadway was completely submerged in flood waters.
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.
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, Fort Smith and now also Pine Bluff.
Red Cross spokesman said 13 Faulkner County residents stayed at the Down Owen shelter Wednesday night.
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.
There also are 46 available RV plots at the Conway Expo and Event Center for people who need a place to stay in their RVs.
City officials said electricity and water will be provided at the center at no cost.
To reserve a spot, call 501-327-2532 or send an email to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conway Department of Sanitation Administrative Assistant Mandy Cates said the landfill, customer convenience area and yard waste facility is still closed 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.”