Dispatch Calls Released After Fort Smith Woman Drowns During Flash Flooding

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Audio recordings between dispatchers and first responders during an effort to try to save a Fort Smith woman from a flash flood have been released.

Debra Stevens died around 6 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 24) on Kinkead Avenue while delivering papers.

According to the Fort Smith Police Department, the 911 call came in at 4:38 a.m. First respnders were dispatched at 4:40 a.m. The first crews on the scene arrived at 4:53 a.m., but were not close enough to reach Stevens' because of high water.

Due to high waters, it took more than an hour from Stevens' 911 call for first responders to make direct contact with her. By the time they got to where her vehicle was, it was too late.

Emergency crews tried to rescue Stevens but the water was too high and too fast.

In the recording, you can hear first responders trying to take multiple routes to rescue her.

After Stevens vehicle became trapped in floodwaters, it floated into a creek at the end of the road. She was unable to escape and died as water filled her car.

A memorial has been set up in remembrance for Stevens.

Her 911 calls have not yet been released by law enforcement.

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