Emergency Responders On Standby In Case of Flooding

As crews in Northwest Arkansas prepared Wednesday night for expected overnight rainfall, some areas of Benton County are still recovering from the spring and summer floods. Emergency managers and the road department are ready in case of flash flooding.

“We stay ready all the time for any type of event that we might have to deal with,” said Mike Dixon, Benton County Emergency Management agency deputy director.

The Emergency Communication Center is equipped with radar, 911 dispatchers and maps.

“Our role is primarily public notification and resource allocation so that we get the responders to where they need to be,” Dixon said. “So we have to keep an eye on the entire county as reports come in then well be able to watch particular areas more closely.”

One of the departments responders communicate with is the road department, which is working to repair many roads damaged by floods earlier this year. The Benton County Road department will also monitor the weather.

“If those roads begin to become impassable, if we start having problems with those, then we can notify the news media, we can do an update,” said Jeff Clark, director of bridge road and maintenance department.

Clark said the road department has crews spread out throughout the county. They have locations in Decatur, Garfield and Bentonville that are stocked with equipment just in case of damaged roads due to rain.

“We’ve actually have all three of our locations are open now with equipment in those areas,” Clark said. “We’ve been talking to our crew leaders they are on standby this evening.”

The August floods caused about $5 million in damages this includes damage to roads and bridges. Federal emergency management officials will help with the cost once all the project are complete.

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