BREAKING: National Guard DEPLOYED

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

Governor Declares State of Emergency

Governor Hutchinson has declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas in response to the severe storms and flooding throughout the state.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management officials are receiving all of the requests from the counties and are responding on order of the Governor.

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“Our prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in the heavy rain and storms last night.  I also thank our first responders who have worked tirelessly to provide assistance,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This afternoon I declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas to ensure that we have in place available resources to assist counties affected by last night’s storms. ADEM continues to coordinate with counties on damage assessments.” 

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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.

Water rescues were occurring just south of Pocahontas in the community of Shannon, according to the NWS.

Evacuation orders were issued on Monday for eastern Pocahontas, which included 150 homes, dozens of businesses and an assisted living facility, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Water had begun to spill over the top of the levee on Tuesday, and officials warned of an imminent levee breach.

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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.

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“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.

 

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.

At least seven people have been killed due to the severe storms and heavy flooding in Arkansas since April 26.

Sources- Kevin Byrne at AccuWeather & Arkansas.gov

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