Black River floodwaters covered State Highway 37 in Arkansas, between Cord and Tuckerman, on 3 May 2017. Photo: AHTD / Twitter

By Kevin Byrne
4 May 2017

(AccuWeather) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has deployed additional resources to combat the extreme flooding in northern parts of the state as many communities remain underwater.

A dangerous flooding situation in northeastern Arkansas worsened on Wednesday morning when a levee failed along the Black River near the town of Pocahontas.

Following the breach, the National Weather Service office in Memphis, Tennessee, immediately issued a flash flooding emergency and urged residents to seek higher ground immediately due to life-threatening flooding. […]

Gauge data shows the river crested at a record level of 28.95 feet at 8:30 p.m. local time Tuesday, but it is forecast to remain above the major flood stage of 25 feet through early Saturday morning.

"This is the most extensive flooding in an urban area that I've ever seen as governor," said Hutchinson, who surveyed the flooding in Randolph, Lawrence and Sharp counties by helicopter on Tuesday.

Hutchinson declared a state of emergency for the state and said he will ask for federal disaster aid, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

At least nine sections of the levee system failed in Randolph County alone and three of the breaches were categorized as "major" Hutchinson said.

The governor also said in a Wednesday press conference he authorized additional resources to be applied to what is already in place in impacted areas. This includes strengthening the deployment of the Arkansas National Guard, which has 25 vehicles ready to deal with high-water rescues and 108 service members in the affected communities.

At least 500 evacuations have already occurred in the state, Hutchinson said.

Days of heavy rain have resulted in the record crests of numerous rivers across the central United States. Many parts of the Mississippi River in Missouri and Arkansas will remain above flood stage into next week.

"A general 4-8 inches of rain fell, while some locations received 10 inches of rain in part of the Central states," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. [more]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson deploys National Guard to combat Arkansas flooding following at least 9 levee breaches


Levee breaches along the Black River near Pocahontas, Arkansas, on 3 May 2017. Photo: Brian Emfinger / Twitter

By Alex Sosnowski
4 May 2017

(AccuWeather) – At midweek, a storm with heavy rain will swing through part of the central United States that was hit hard by flooding and tornadoes over the weekend.

While this week's storm will move through swiftly when compared to this past weekend's storm, enough rain can fall to aggravate the flooding situation and bring a new threat for severe weather.

The additional rain will hinder damage assessment, cleanup of mud and debris and repairs in some communities.

Slow-moving disaster to continue for days, perhaps weeks

"A general 4-8 inches of rain fell, while some locations received 10 inches of rain in part of the Central states," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Record crests occurred along some rivers, including the Current River at Doniphan, Missouri, where waters reached 33.13 feet on Monday. The North Fork of the White River, near Tecumseh, Missouri, reached a record crest of 35.51 feet on Saturday night.

Even if there was no additional rain this week, "after the weekend deluge, some rivers across the central United States will continue to rise and threaten homes and residents," Pydynowski said. […]

Portions of the Mississippi River, especially near and below the Ohio River confluence, may continue to rise into the middle of May. [more]

Torrential rain to exacerbate flooding following record crests along central US rivers

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