Areas Of River Valley Flooded And Campers Evacuated In Barling

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SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) - Many areas across the River Valley are flooded from Sunday's storms. City leaders in Fort Smith are warning residents they may be in danger due to flooding along the Arkansas River. Meanwhile, campers are already being evacuated in parts of Barling.

Heavy rain is to blame for flooding all across the area. Many roads in Central City and Lavaca are shut down. This includes Carter Street, Utah Ranch Road, and Highway 255 that runs across Central City and Lavaca. The roads are all shut down due to high waters.

Another area that is flooded is the Riverfront Park in Fort Smith. The Army Corps of Engineers warned Fort Smith leaders that the river would crest around 33 feet overnight.

Residents in nearby neighborhoods have been warned of the rising of water levels, some of them even evacuating their homes overnight.

Fort Smith city administrator Ray Gosack said there are two main areas in Fort Smith they expect to be effected. "The Riverlyn area which we have notified homeowners that they may be effected," said Gosack. "There's areas on the north side of Fort Smith generally along P Street, from Martin Luther King Park toward the Arkansas River."

People living in that area need to be aware that they could see flooding. The city said they're keeping a very close eye on both of those areas and will move in if needed.

"We are asking people to plan ahead if they think their area is going to flood," according to Gosack. "We do know that we will have some property losses in a result of this flooding but we don't want to see any loss of human life."

Not only residents are at risk, but the flooding has also caused problems for campers. High waters are flooding the area of Springhill Park in Barling.

"They are afraid that the access road floods, these people won't have anyway to get out, " said park attendant Jimmy Flurry.

Springhill Park is a popular destination for campers specially on Memorial Day weekend, but all of them were asked to leave as they are afraid the lock and dam will flood over.

"Park attendants up at the office are going around to tell everyone that they have to leave, " according to Flurry.

City leaders said swift water rescue teams are on standby and will deploy when there's an emergency. Police want to remind drivers to not cross any roads that appear to be flooded.