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05/03/2011

UPDATE ON FLOODING AND WATER FLOW LEVELS IN BAXTER COUNTY

     The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office launched its helicopter this morning in order to survey flooding and current water flows and levels along the White River, North Fork River, Buffalo National River, and the Norfork Lake.   

     From the air, it appears that with rainfall stopping yesterday evening, the water flow levels are dropping gradually along the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek, as well as very slowly along the White River in the Norfork area and downstream from there in Baxter County.  Officers did not observe any residential structures that appeared to be in immediate danger from flooding.

     Officers also observed that most of the Corp of Engineers parks, campground facilities, and boat launch ramps on the Southern part of the Norfork Lake are at least partially flooded and may be closed to the public.   

     A spokesperson with the Mountain Home Office of the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers stated that conditions are improving as the water levels of the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek continue to fall.  At the Bull Shoals Dam, there are currently no spillways open and water flow from generators is at a minimum level. At present there are no plans to open the Bull Shoals Dam spillway floodgates so long as conditions continue to improve.  The Corp is closely monitoring the situation there.

     With respect to the Norfork Dam, the Corp of Engineers reports that all 12 floodgate spillways are now open to 3 feet.  This is resulting in approximately 38,000 cubic feet per second of water to be released from the dam into the North Fork River.  The Corp indicated it plans to continue releasing water at this rate until the level of the Norfork Lake has dropped to a safe level.

     The Baxter County Road and Bridge Department indicates that some portions of the following Baxter County Roads may still be closed at specific locations due to flooding:  Baxter CR 63, Baxter CR 806, and Baxter CR 27.  Motorists should use caution if driving on these county roads and pay attention to all warning signs and barricades that may be erected.

     In addition to Baxter County roadways, the Sheriff’s Office has been receiving multiple calls from the public inquiring of roadway conditions in other areas of the state, which we have no information on.  The public may call the following numbers to obtain roadway condition information in other areas of Arkansas and in Missouri.  For Arkansas the number is:  (800) 245-1672.  For Missouri the number is:  (800) 222-6400.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

 
 
 
 
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