Floodwaters continue to rise in Des Arc

The threat of flooding remains for Prairie County where the White River is still rising more than a week after the storms began

DES ARC, Ark. (KTHV) -- This dry weather is a welcome relief for all the Arkansans living in flood zones across the state.

But the threat of disaster remains for many of them. Right now, the river in Des Arc is around 34 feet, that's 10 feet above normal. The National Weather Service expects that number to increase by Tuesday, so locals continue to prepare as water slowly rises.

Davis Bell, Public Information Officer for Prairie County continues to prepare for more flooding in Des Arc. Levees built around businesses off Highway 11 hope to block floodwaters from the White River. Bell said more than 40 families had evacuated their homes on the south and east sides of Des Arc.

“We never thought in 2011 that we’d be doing this practice again, but here we are,” Bell said. “Our primary concern for that is security because a lot of people have moved, some have left some property, and so the national guard is going to assist us with the security in that area.”

13 roads have already closed in Des Arc, and Bell said more are expected to close as the water rises. For more than 40 years Chip Calhoun and his family have lived off Highway 11. He said with more flooding expected he’s not taking any chances.

“You can see from the front porch where the railing goes up there’s a concrete slab,” Calhoun said. ”It will probably go about 3/4th of the way.”

Calhoun built a levee around his home hoping to avoid losing everything like in 2011. That’s when he said the river forced more than 2 feet of water inside his home.

“I never thought I’d have to mess with this again in my life time,” Calhoun said.

For now, streets and roads are slowly closing as water from the river continues to rise.

“We’ve had to try and barricade some roads close off access to some areas,” Bell said. “Obviously, it’s frustrating to some local people, but we have to do that to protect them.”

Police urge people not to go through blocked or flooded roads. Both the Arkansas Game and Fish and National Guard are assisting with any rescues needed.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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