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Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:14 p.m.
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Waters recede after floods forced evacuations

By Ashley Nerbovig

This article was published June 29, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.

Water is beginning to recede in eastern Arkansas after flash floods closed several highways and caused families to evacuate their homes, officials said Sunday.

U.S. 70, Arkansas 86, and U.S. 49 in Monroe County are closed and underwater, Arkansas Department of Emergncy Management spokesman Yvette Smith said.

"Most all highways in Crittenden and St. Francis counties are also flooded and closed," Smith said.

Smith said she did have reports of the water receding from the highways but not enough for them to be opened yet.

In Monroe County, four homes were evacuated but no shelters opened. Seventeen homes were evacuated in Crittenden County, and a temporary shelter was set up at First Baptist Church at 200 N. Missouri St. in West Memphis, where people could call their families and get picked up.

In St. Francis County, 10 homes were evacuated, and the evacuees were directed to the Forrest City Civic Center, at 1335 N. Washington St., another temporary shelter where they could also make contact with family members, Smith said.

Chris Buonanno, the science operations officer for the National Weather Service, said the heavy rains struck last night, and were scattered around the state, mainly focused in eastern and central Arkansas. Buonanno said he received reports of 6 to 10 inches of rain overnight. However, there isn't expected to be anymore heavy rain through Tuesday, Buonanno said.

Buonanno said he expects the water levels to recede later Sunday evening.

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