NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Rain in the forecast paired with soil that’s already moist could lead to overnight flooding in parts of Northwest Arkansas.
According to Melody Kwok, the communications director for Benton County, road crews are on standby in case there are any flooding emergencies. They will put up barricades and signage in any particularly flooded areas.
Additional crews will be called out throughout the night if they’re needed. Kwok said to avoid driving in any low areas.
“A road that does flood often is on our Peach Orchard, Pumpkin Hollow area. That’s our most trafficked road,” said Kwok.
The best way to help if it’s flooding is to contact cities and counties. Kwok said Benton County relies on those calls. They have 1400 miles of road, and she said it’s a lot of road to take care of.
In case there are any flooding emergencies, some local fire departments have swiftwater rescue, like the Fayetteville Fire Department.
“We’ll set up high lines across the waterway, hook a boat up to it, or there’s a lot of different ways that we can do it. We’ll swim out there if need be,” said Fayetteville fireman, Brandon Newman.
The Washington County Road department hauled extra gravel into the shop on Feb. 7. In case there are issues with dirt roads blowing out, crews can haul the material out and rebuild the road.
The Fayetteville Fire Department urges caution if you’re driving around during flash flooding. According to Newman, cars can get swept away in just two inches of standing water. Instead of driving through it, turn around and go another way.
Some Northwest Arkansas citizens also prepared for potential flooding. West Valley Drive in Fayetteville is prone to heavy flooding. Both residents and city officials have made efforts to alleviate some of the flooding.
Allie Brown’s father lived on Valley Drive before he died at the end of last year. When Brown heard that there was a possibility of flooding, she went to work elevating possessions from her childhood home, so that they wouldn’t get damaged.
Brown said it could be extremely beneficial if there were local text alerts for areas of cities where roads were starting to flood.
“Perhaps something that comes through on a device or phone would be very helpful to residents that live on lower ground,” said Brown.