Significant rainfall and potential flooding in the White River region are expected over the next few days.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers out of Little Rock said Monday it intends to make spillway releases from the White River dams, and the National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting significant rainfall in the White River basin over the next 72 hours.
If these forecasts remain true, the Corps will start making spillway releases from Beaver and Table Rock Dams on Tuesday, Bull Shoals Dam on Wednesday as well as increasing releases from Norfork Dam on Wednesday. Releases will be based off rainfall runoff amounts.
The Corps noted it is advising areas downstream of the dams to begin assessing their respective plans and to begin taking the proper precautions. Landowners with belongings near the river’s edge should also begin making plans for high water.
“Corps policy requires its staff to operate the lakes based upon runoff from rain that has actually fallen and can be measured,” said the Corps’ chief of hydraulics & technical services branch, Mike Biggs. “Operating the dams based upon ‘water on the ground’ allows engineers to make data-based decisions.”
Major precipitation is expected through the week in the White River Now region, as well as the entire state of Arkansas.
Look for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms to continue Tuesday and Tuesday night over much of the state. Heavy rain is expected, so the threat of flash flooding will continue. As such, a flash flood watch is in effect until Wednesday evening.
A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Everyone should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should a flash flood warning to be issued, the NWS says.
Showers and thunderstorms will remain likely Wednesday and Thursday, especially during the heat of the afternoon and early evening. Downpours will tend to be hit and miss, with a quick half-inch to inch of rain where they occur. Some areas could receive one to possible four inches of rain. This could also cause localized flash flooding. The NWS says any severe weather will be spotty, with strong to damaging winds also a big concern.
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