Arkansas Weather

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Officials say the estimated impact of agricultural flood damage in Arkansas due to recent severe weather is about $175 million.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says the April flooding affected more than 970,000 acres of farmland. University officials say more than 360,000 acres of crops were lost due to floodwater from storms that swept through the state last month. About 50 percent of that crop loss was rice.

A preliminary estimate had put the damage at about $65 million. The updated estimate includes sorghum and wheat crops.

Flooding Lawrence County Farms agriculture
Arkansas Farm Bureau / Twitter

At least 10 percent of Arkansas’ rice crop could be lost as historic floodwaters wash through northeast Arkansas and head south in the coming days. The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture estimates 100,000 rice acres have probably been destroyed or significantly impacted, and that number could rise dramatically by this weekend, U of A rice extension agronomist Dr. Jarrod Hardke told Talk Business & Politics.

 Volunteers from Walnut Ridge and Hoxie came together Wednesday to fill as many sandbags as possible to help out neighbors and friends whose homes are in the path of the rising Black River in Northeast Arkansas.
 
“We’ve done over 1,000 today,” said Chris McDole with the Walnut Ridge street department.

Flooding Black River Pocahontas
KATV, Channel 7 News

As flood waters continue to rise in northeast Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is sending additional manpower and resources to the area. It comes as an earthen levee for the Black River near Pocahontas is apparently no longer able to hold back the water.

Hutchinson told reporters Wednesday at the state Capitol that state emergency officials have identified nine levee breaches in Randolph County alone, and that three of those "appear to be categorized as major."

"Devastating."

That's the only way Kary Story, Mayor of Pocahontas, can describe the record flooding coming to his city.  The National Weather Service in Memphis on Tuesday issued a Flash Flood Warning for southeastern Randolph County, and central Lawrence County.

Evacuations Underway In Northeast Arkansas As Historic Floodwaters Loom

May 2, 2017
Flooding Black River Pocahontas
KAIT, Channel 8/Jonesboro

A water wall is moving down the Black River and parts of Northeast Arkansas are bracing for the worst floods in generations. At least 300 people were evacuated from eastern Pocahontas on Monday as the river continued to rise, fueled by weekend rains in southern Missouri.

Flooding
Christy Robinson / KATV, Channel 7

Powerful thunderstorms in Arkansas are being blamed for several deaths as heavy rain caused flash flooding and strong winds brought down trees and power lines. By Sunday afternoon rain had moved out of the state and flood waters were beginning to recede, but Entergy Arkansas says it could be a few days before all power is restored.

A church in Parthenon, Arkansas.
flickr.com

Severe storms and a possible tornado hit north Arkansas overnight Monday with damages shutting down the post office in Parthenon. Several homes and vehicles across the region were also damaged but there are no reports of injuries or death at this time.

In a press release the US Postal Service says a tornado has closed the office in the Ozark hamlet for the time being. The National Weather Service is still determining whether a tornado touched down.

National Weather Service / National Weather Service

Teaching Arkansans how to rate and report the severity of storms is one goal of a program being hosted by the National Weather Service Tuesday night.

Spring storms often bring tornado warnings in central Arkansas. The Skywarn Storm Spotter Training is designed to help community volunteers monitor and report storms as they develop.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Hood says firsthand accounts are a useful addition to the weather reports gathered via radar.

tornado
KATV, Channel 7 News

Storm surveys conducted by weather forecasters show that at least six tornadoes touched down in Arkansas during this week's rounds of bad weather.

Of the surveys that had been completed by midday Friday, the longest-tracked storm was on the ground for 4.2 miles south of Possum Grape, in Jackson County. It had winds of about 110 mph Wednesday morning and was rated as an "EF-1" on a scale of tornado damage.

The strongest twister of the week was Tuesday night near Kensett in White County. The EF-2 storm had winds of 115 mph.

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