While rain brings fresh water and growth, too much all at once can create a flood situation. Residents of Arkansas recently saw firsthand the effects of too much rain in many of their counties.
Alma, Arkansas hit the trifecta with Mother Nature. Fort Smith saw 2.51 inches of rain, while under a seven-hour tornado and a subsequent flood warning.
There was so much rain in western and eastern Arkansas that the National Weather Service estimated that water in the Arkansas River would rise 27.5 feet.
The water in the river began to swell in Crawford County, prompting a judge to issue a state of emergency. According to 5News, roads were washed out, and waters reached the base of bridges spanning the river.
The Crawford County Emergency Management Director Brad Thomas said the county was considering dropping the floodgates on the levees to alleviate some of the water flow. He had also alerted those who lived in high-risk areas to the possible flood dangers.
With all of the rain the river received, the flow was moving at five times its normal speed. The fast-moving waters prompted many water rescues throughout the area.
The Thursday after the rains was a very busy day for first responders. Early that morning, they rescued five people who were trapped. Alma fire department saved four people from the Chitwood Apartments at 1:30 a.m. as rising water trapped them inside their homes.
County sheriff’s deputies came to the aid of a man at 7:15 a.m. He was at Clear Creek Park, and his mobile home was partially covered in water due to water from the Frog Bayou.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers and park managers had previously instructed campers to move away from the low spots and higher ground.
Retrieving the RV
One camper Steven Farquhar had spoken to the man, “I told the guy, the gentleman who owns the motor home, ‘I would have left out of there yesterday. I wouldn’t have waited around,'”
It took Alma Auto Service hours to retrieve the RV from the water. They attached cables to the vehicle and working around the trees that were between the RV and land.
Typically, more vehicle rescues are seen when flooding like this happens. However, many people took the advice issued by first responders and stayed away from potential flood areas.