Flooding In Downtown Fort Smith Won’t Cancel Summer Events

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Recent flooding left behind damage at Harry E. Kelly Park and the National Historic Site in downtown Fort Smith.

Roger Calinowsky was out running along the river Wednesday (June 10), which he said he does frequently.

“It's a great park, great place to run,” he said.

But not too long ago he would've been swimming instead running.

“You can still see the signs of flooding,” Calinowsky said.

Fort Smith Parks Director Doug Reinert said the flooding left behind stains on the property and put electrical boxes underwater, but summer events at the park will go on as planned.

“The circuits got underwater. They've got to get dried out and we will have an electrician come in and make sure they are functioning," Reinert said. "They might need to be replaced."

Fort Smith National Historic Site Superintendent Lisa Conrad Frost said although the flooding was a headache, it actually brought a lot of people out to the park.

“In the summer it's not unusual to get 100 visitors a day," she said. "During the flood period I would say you could add 100 to that."

Parts of the site did have to be closed off after debris washed up in the park.

“It rose to about 33.7 feet and it flooded the entire lower trail,” Frost said. "You can tell. You can see the lines of the water mark and things that have washed on shore."

Directors said right now it's too early to put a dollar amount on the damage.

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