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Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:09 p.m.


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Rain intense, Jacksonville areas flood

By Kenneth Heard

This article was published April 19, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

Torrential rains that fell over a small area south of Little Rock Air Force Base on Monday evening caused retention ponds to overflow and creeks to spill out of banks, flooding several homes near Paradise Park in Jacksonville.

At least 10 homes were damaged, Jacksonville City Engineer Jay Whisker said.

"It came up quickly," Whisker said. "All at once the water came."

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Whisker said some homes near Paradise Park and in the Eastview area just south of the air base had up to 2 feet of water in them.

Meteorologist Michael Brown of the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said 3 to 4 inches of rain fell on an area in Jacksonville during an hour and a half Monday evening.

"It was very localized," Brown said of the rainfall. "The storm came over that area and just sat, stationary, for a while. Two or three miles away, they didn't see as much rain."

The deluge caused several retention ponds at the air base to overflow into Rocky Branch Creek, Whisker said. Water flooded the city's garage and covered Main Street near the U.S. 167 overpass.

Betty Murray, owner of 4 Seasons Plants west of the air base, said she returned to her business Monday evening to cover greenhouses when the storm hit.

"It started real fast and it quit fast," she said. "It was big, heavy drops. It was a soaking rain.

"Water got in the greenhouse, and it was over my shoes."

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for the area, Brown said.

More storms are forecast for the state Friday and Saturday, Brown said.

State Desk on 04/19/2017

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