Overnight Flash Flooding Ravages River Valley, Several Roads Damaged

CRAWFORD COUNTY (KFSM) — A second swift-water rescue is underway on Old Graphic Road near Mulberry and Mountainburg is contending with flooded roads and power and water outages as heavy rain caused flash flooding on Friday (Aug. 9).

Brad Thomas, Crawford County Emergency Manager, said a second swift-water rescue was underway on Old Graphic Road near Mulberry at 8:30 a.m. It came three hours after another swift-water rescue took place near the same area. The rescue was complete by 9:15 a.m.

About 5:30 a.m., fire and rescue officials were called to West Graphic Road near the Graphic community in Crawford County, where a motorist was stranded, said Brad Thomas, Crawford County Emergency Manager.

Within a few minutes, Thomas said they were preparing to put a boat in the water to rescue the driver. By 6:15 a.m., the driver was rescued and everyone was safe, Thomas said.

MRAP (Mini Resistant Ambush Vehicle) from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office.

Thomas said they used the MRAP (Mini-Resistant Ambush Protected) tactical rescue vehicle from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office to rescue residents from their flooded homes.

In Mountainburg, flash flooding closed roads and led to power and water outages throughout the town.

Melany McKenzie with the city of Mountainburg said most of the city was without power Friday morning until about 10 a.m.

Graham Street, West Willow Street and Pigeon Creek were all closed due to flooding. Highway 282 was closed west of Interstate 49 near Mountainburg after the Frog Bayou Bridge was covered by water. City officials said Ash Street and U.S. 71 and Silver Bridge Road in Mountainburg were also closed. She also said that Old Highway 12 in Grapevine and Old Graphic Road and Peach Road in the county were closed.

She said the Pigeon Creek area was also without water. Water was restored later Friday morning.

McKenzie urged anyone with issues in Mountainburg city limits to call City Hall at (479) 297-1062. The city is trying to compile a list of washed-out or flooded roads, power outages and water outages so they can make repairs and assist people as soon as possible.

"We'll help out the best we can," she said.

Highway 282 was closed west of Interstate 49 near Mountainburg after the Frog Bayou Bridge was covered by water.

Thomas with Emergency Management reported that several roads throughout Crawford County were underwater.

More than six inches fell overnight in the Mountainburg area and around Chester, causing flash flooding issues.

Natasha Griffin of Mulberry said two large sections of Old Graphic Road had been washed out. One area in particular was near Kindred Barn, a popular wedding venue.

Photos show the road washed out, with the remains of an old low-water bridge showing in the cut in the road. Griffin said that one was particularly dangerous because it wasn't easily visible. It lies at the bottom of the hill, and the washed-out portion is hard to see until drivers are nearly upon it, she said.

Franklin County dispatchers also reported flash flooding issues, where water was sending debris into the road in the northern part of the county. Dispatch said deputies had been sent to clear roadways of debris by 5 a.m.

Portions of Crawford, Sebastian, Washington and Franklin counties are currently under Flash Flood Warnings until noon.

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