LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Sunny skies are in the forecast, but it may not be enough to halt a disaster across Arkansas. After facing tornadoes earlier this week, now the problem is flooding.
“We’ve never seen this before,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison. “We’ve never had to deal with this before.”
The Dardanelle Levee—some 70 miles upstream from Little Rock—breached overnight, leaving what one official called a “wide open hole” of water.
The Yell County Office of Emergency Management said that so far about 75 homes have been impacted by the breach.
In a statement, the mayor of Dardanelle urged residents to help with sandbagging efforts and said, “I ask you to please not panic. We have time to prepare for this. It will not be coming into our area for quite a while”.
After touring the state from the sky Thursday, Governor Hutchinson called the situation devastating.gov. “The most significant impression I had is that it’s hard to imagine the magnitude of the flooding,” Governor Hutchison said. “It is difficult to comprehend.”
The swollen river has flooded into hundreds of homes and buildings across the state
“We have over 500 homes that have been affected here in Arkansas thus far and that’s probably a conservative number,” Governor Hutchison said.
The bottom floor of Trish Nguyen’s house is already underwater. She said, “A lot of us don’t have flood insurance, so I really don’t know what to do next. I keep praying.”