Natural Dam Residents, No Strangers To Flooding

CRAWFORD COUNTY (KFSM) -- Heavy rain means flooding for many parts of Crawford County, including the Natural Dam area.

"This is a troubled area that always floods," Chris Keith with the Crawford County Highway Department said. "It's pretty much county wide. From Rudy to Mountainburg to Chester, we have flooded bridges all over the county right now."

The bridge near the Natural Dam is covered by water, but residents said they are used to it and have actually seen things a lot worse.

"Every time it rains hard, this is the first place to go," resident Dillon Strewlow said. "Over the bridge, everybody is stuck right across the road."

"This is their only way in and out," Keith said. "They don't have another way to get out so it's a bad situation for them, as well as other roads across the county, too."

Water levels have gone down some, but with more rain in the forecast, officials said the water levels will only continue to rise.

"It's kind of a waiting game," Keith said. "Not much we can do until the water recedes and then we can assess the damage and go from there."

But, as more rain moves out way, the Highway Departments warns drivers to stay away from the flooded areas because it could cost you your life.

"If you see barricades or if you see water over the road, please do not try to go through it," Keith said. "You don't know underneath that water or if it's still there or how deep it is and it could be a dangerous situation and put other lives in danger to have to come rescue you."

Even residents said it's not safe to try to drive through the flooded roads.

"I wouldn't try it," resident Micheal Rice said. "If it's flooded, stay off of it. Safety first."

Road crews said they will add gravel to the flooded areas as soon as the water levels go down enough. There are barricades blocking drivers from the roadways that are flooded in the county.