LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The potential for historic flooding on the Arkansas River over Memorial Day weekend is prompting officials to warn people to stay off the water.
Trey Reid with Arkansas Game and Fish said this is a dangerous situation going into the holiday weekend. He said we could see water levels we have not seen since the 1920s.
"Small craft advisories are issued when the flow is 70,000 cubic feet per second. We're talking about some flows that may be eight times that with this flood event,” he said.
Reid said if you have plans to be anywhere near the river in the next few days, it's best to stay away. Instead, he recommends heading to one of Arkansas’s lakes. He said flooding along the river does not have an effect on the lakes, but it's still important to stay safe.
"There will probably be even more people there because you're taking a three hundred mile section of water that is a recreational boating area, the Arkansas River, and nobody's there so some of those folks are going to be going to area lakes,” he said.
Laurie Driver with the US Army Corps of Engineers said recent rainfall has caused a majority of the lakes in Arkansas to be slightly higher than normal, but they are still safe to boat on.
"They're not dangerously high. This is a fairly normal spring,” Driver said.
But, she said you still need to remain vigilant while boating.
"You are more likely to run into something on the ground, closer to the shore that you're not used to. Some of the boat launch ramps may not be as accessible,” Driver said.
Driver said the best thing a person can do on the lakes this weekend is to slow down, don't drink and drive and wear a life jacket.