City Of Fort Smith Prepares For Rain, Possible Flooding Later In Week

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Flooding has been a problem in Fort Smith for months, and the city says they’ve been working tirelessly to fix the problem.

Greg Riley, the director of street and traffic control, said Monday (July 6) when it starts raining crews are out around the clock.

“We continually try to keep our storm drains clear anytime there`s a big storm like we’ve had,” Riley said. “We go back through because the leaves and limbs and all kinds of things get clogged in the storm drains.”

However, he said when the rain comes down fast some of the drains cannot handle it.

“There are areas where there`s severe flooding where we continually, through the engineering department and our work, try to keep up with, where the bad problems are and try to keep those fixed,” Riley said.

One of those problem areas is Riverlyn Terrace, which lies just off the Arkansas River. The street does not have any storm drains and the couple drainage ditches there can get overpowered by heavy rain, in addition to river water run-off.

Maverick Turner lives on Riverlyn Terrace and said within the last month the area has flooded multiple times. He said the city needs to step in.

“Even last night we had about six inches of water rushing down the street, and it only rained for about an hour or two,” Turner said. “The water just rushes through it and goes out a drainage ditch right over there. Maybe if storm drains were installed it would help prevent flooding in the future.”

Chuck Fawcett lives across the street from Turner. His home was damaged during flooding this spring.

“We had to gut it up to eight feet in the walls, and we`re letting it dry out, and we hope to start building back in about two weeks,” Fawcett said.

Even with the damage, he said he believes the city is doing all it can.

“The city is working hard on the drainage that carries the water all through the city to stop flooding, and the city, they`ve done a good job of that,” Fawcett said.

The city says its street crews have been back at it clearing drains ahead of the rainy weather later this week.

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