Arkansas River flooding to impact hundreds of homes

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA)– As the Arkansas River continues to rise, emergency management teams and government leaders discuss how to help flood victims.

There were two press conferences in Fort Smith Tuesday, which will become the way information is given to the public until the flooding stops.

Those who led those press conferences took the time to clear up some misconceptions about what’s happening in the flooded city.

The Department of Transportation said the city is not under a boil order and all water is safe to drink and use.

The Arkansas Corp. of Engineers  predicts the Arkansas River will crest at 41 ft. Wednesday in the River Valley.

This is expected to impact 300-500 homes in Sebastian County.

That’s according to Melody Daniel of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

At the press conference, officials also announced three different search and rescue teams have been brought in. 

But Daniel said to save lives, it’s important to control what you can.

“This is not the time to go float the river, this is not the time to be out and about swimming. This is the time to be taking precautions and do whatever you can to save lives. We can always replace property, we can not replace a life,” she said.

Daniel adds that with the expected rainfall, the 41 ft. crest could change, so it’s important to continue to stay alert. 

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