In "normal" seasons, the Bermuda High sets up in the Atlantic and steers cyclones to the west toward the United States and Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes troughs on the East Coast steer the systems away from the U.S. These troughs can be real life-savers! So far Bill and Danny have been kept away from the coast because of this.
Also working in our favor is El Nino. The warming waters of the equatorial Pacific usually send strong upper winds from the west to the east across Central America into the Atlantic. This wind shears apart any storms that get close enough.
Hurricanes can and have affected Arkansas in big ways. In 1986, Bonnie moved across the state bringing 5-11 inches of rain. 2005's Rita produced heavy rain and 11 tornadoes. In 2008, Gustav and Ike brought heavy rain, power outages and small tornadoes.