Arkansas Weather

Flood garland city, arkansas red river
Sabrina McCormick Norton / KTXK News

Among those wishing for rainfall, well, get ready. AccuWeather is reporting that Arkansas and several other south central U.S. states could see “catastrophic flooding” beginning as early as Friday and continuing into early next week. The rainy weather prediction has an Arkansas River operator securing barges.

Wildfire
Arkansas Forestry Commission / Twitter

Fire crews are working from the land and air to suppress a wildfire that started near a tire dump fire south of Little Rock.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission said Monday that two bulldozers and two air tankers are helping fight the fire. Smoke could be seen through parts of Little Rock.

The National Weather Service says the danger of wildfire is high across Arkansas and a fire weather watch is in effect.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has also declared a high to extreme fire danger in all of Arkansas.

A burn ban is in effect for all but far northern Arkansas and the weather service says outdoor burning is not recommended

The weather service says warm temperatures, southerly winds and low humidity mean fires can start easily and spread quickly.

Arkansas Drought Map for October 15th, 2015
droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Nearly half of Arkansas is in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought is most concentrated in the southern part of the state. Consequently, 51 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have instituted burn bans. Chris Buonanno, a science and operations officer with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said the worst conditions are concentrated near the state's border with Louisiana.

 

The Arkansas Forestry Commission says 37 counties in southern and central Arkansas are under a moderate wildfire danger because of dry vegetation and the expectation of continued dry conditions.

In addition, burn bans have been issued in 13 counties in the state. The counties are Chicot, Faulkner, Garland, Jefferson, Lincoln, Hempstead, Howard, Miller, Montgomery, Ouachita, Polk, Saline, and Union.

The number of counties with bans on outdoor burning in Arkansas is increasing.

Arkansas as of Tuesday afternoon had seven counties with burn bans in place - Chicot, Faulkner, Garland, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson and Saline. The number is up from five on Monday.

While some areas of Arkansas have rain in the forecast for the next couple of days, longer-range forecasts call for high temperatures and low precipitation.

The period from August to early October is one of the state's peak wildfire seasons. The other is in late winter.

Flood garland city, arkansas red river
Sabrina McCormick Norton / KTXK News

Federal officials say the government has provided more than $2 million in aid to help Arkansas recover from storms that hit in May and June.

Tornadoes, high winds and flooding ravaged the state between May 7 and June 15.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more than $900,000 in housing aid went to homeowners and renters. That money can be used to provide temporary housing and help repair damage not covered by insurance.

Five Arkansas counties have issued burn bans as temperatures climb and the chance of precipitation drops.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission said Monday that humidity is a key factor for the development of wildfires, and that a hot, dry forecast means the annual summertime wildfire season is "on schedule."

Humidity levels dropped late last week and forestry officials said Arkansas saw seven small wildfires during the weekend.

Flood garland city, arkansas red river
Sabrina McCormick Norton / KTXK News

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says Arkansas renters in counties where homes and property were damaged by severe spring storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Renters who were displaced from their homes by the storms may be eligible for FEMA grants to help them pay rent for temporary housing. The rental grants are good for 30 days but are subject to review until homes are livable.

The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers disaster loans to help renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including vehicles.

Titus Little Rock Police Dog
Little Rock PD

A K9 officer with the Little Rock Police Department has died from heat distress after a several-block foot chase with a suspect in 96-degree heat.

Department spokesman Officer Richard Hilgeman says Titus, a German Shepherd, was part of the department's downtown division for about three years. Titus died Wednesday at Briarwood Animal Hospital.

Hilgeman says about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers were involved in a foot chase with a suspect they believe had stolen property from several cars he had broken into.

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