Fort Smith Police Close Riverfront Park As River Continues To Rise

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — As of Thursday, May 23, Fort Smith law enforcement officers have closed off Riverfront Park as the Arkansas River continues to rise. They have barricaded the parking lot and warned people of the safety threats.

Even though police warned the public about the potential dangers of being at the park, people crowded by the water's edge to see what was going on.

Police say they shut down the park for now as a safety precaution because of how fast the current is rising.

Marsha Miller has lived in Fort Smith her entire life and says she went to the park just to take it all in. She works at a small business near the river and says she fears that if the water rises more, her job could be in jeopardy.

"We always come down here when it floods down here to see what it’s done but we’ve never ever seen it this I mean flowing this fast," Miller said. "It could hurt a lot of business I mean you’ve got a lot of business back in here and up down Clayton and stuff.. right now we are a slow business right now this could probably shut us down."

Again, Fort Smith Police are warning residents to avoid the riverfront area as the water is expected to continue rising over the next several days.

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