The Arkansas River has crested at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam, but officials do not believe the flooding havoc is quite over yet.
The river crested just over 285 feet Monday. The possibility stands that flood waters could top the Lollie Levee. However, local officials believe the levee is holding as it should.
"The river has crested [and] it has reached its peak at our levee," Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry said Monday morning. "We do have some room to spare [at the levee]. This is good news. However, you need to understand that it's going to be a slow decrease in the volume of water out there and we will continue to monitor the levee until the threat has passed."
Regarding the Lake Conway area, Castleberry and other officials said it's likely homes could experience flooding.
With the threat, Castleberry said he believes those living along Lake Conway within Conway city limits will not suffer the impact of imminent flooding, but also that it's important to stay alert.
County Attorney David Houge said the "super flood" has three stages in central Arkansas.
"No. 1, the water came to the Lollie Bottoms," he said. "Then, it creeped up through the creeks and tributaries into the Greenbrier area -- specifically [the] Cadron Flats. At this point, most the people in Cadron Flats have seen the water they're going to see."
While those living along the Cadron Flats likely have seen the end of rising flood waters in their area, other residents in the county may soon see more flooding, Hogue said.
"From here, we expect to see Lake Conway rising because the Arkansas River at Palarm Creek is rising over the Conway spillway," he said. "If you are in a low-lying area around Lake Conway, you need to be prepared at this point. If you've ever seen your house flood around Lake Conway, you're about to see it flood again. Sandbags are available in multiple locations around the county."
Many residents who live along Lake Conway told the Log Cabin Democrat on Monday that so far, "everything is normal" around the lake.
James Redding said the Paradise Circle area flooded in 2011 and that residents are prepping their homes with sandbags and plastic sheets. As for now, the current water level is nothing those along the lake don't see on a regular basis, he said.
As of Monday afternoon, waters were seeping into Redding and other neighbors' back yards.
One woman who moved in the Lake Conway area in mid-May said she is keeping a close eye on the water levels.
"We have been keeping an eye on the status of the lake since this event began," Elizabeth Esau said. "The lake did not start to really ruse until [Sunday] morning. We are anticipating being cut off from leaving the area as it continues to rise since we assume Lawrence Landing will be covered so we prepared and got groceries and bottled water to keep us through until the lake recedes."
Esau said she believes her home is far enough back from the lake that she won't be stranded but also that her family have prepared for "worst case scenario."
The entire ordeal has been "very stressful" on the family. the Esaues moved into the Lake Conway area on May 18.
Hogue said he advises anyone who believes they will be affected by the flooding event to seek shelter immediately.
"Now is the time to get out and take your pets to the emergency shelter," he said.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said the lake is expected to exceed the flood stage of 266 feet by Wednesday.
"The lake will continue rising after Wednesday, but the peak level is unknown at this time," he said.
Properties along the lake that have flooded in the last 10 years are at the highest risk of flooding during this impending incident.
"Those living in close proximity to Lake Conway should take immediate action to protect themselves and their property from flooding," he said Monday. "Even though the Arkansas River [crested Monday] ... water will still continue to rise in Palarm Creek for the next several days, pushing more water into Lake Conway. This flood is a lengthy event, with the threat of flooding around Lake Conway possibly extending beyond this week."
A Red Cross emergency shelter is available for those affected by the rising flood waters.
The shelter is set up at the Don Owen Sports Center in Conway and can house 300.
Those who seek shelter via the red cross are asked to bring with them clothing, bedding, toiletries, medications and children’s toys. Meals are served three times a day to those in need at the shelters.
Those wishing to make a $10 donation during the historic flooding event can text REDCROSS to 90999. Those wishing to volunteer with the Red Cross can contact organizers at www.redcross.org.
There is also an emergency animal shelter near the Red cross shelter. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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.