Flooding is becoming a bigger problem in Faulkner County around Lake Conway and several wildlife management areas, the Game and Fish Commission said Monday.
Around the state, river levels are still rising. Many have increased by as much as 15 to 30 feet since heavy rainfall began on April 22, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency has survey crews out measuring the river levels.
Heavy rain has swelled Lake Conway in Faulkner County to a historically high level. As of noon, Lake Conway was 268.3 feet above sea level, which is 5.3 feet above normal. The level was up a tenth of a foot since 7:30 a.m.
“Flooding around the lake is much more pronounced than yesterday,” said Tom Bly, an AGFC district fisheries supervisor.
Rivers across Arkansas rose dramatically since flooding began in April. The Illinois River south of Siloam Springs increased from approximately 5.5 feet on April 21 to more than 26 feet on April 26. The Buffalo River at St. Joe rose from about 6.0 feet on April 22 to around 35.5 feet on April 26. River levels continue to rise at Georgetown where the White River increased from about 11.8 feet on April 22 to almost 29 feet on May 2.
“The flooding that began last month is already the most widespread and severe flooding to strike Arkansas since 2008,” said Jaysson Funkhouser, USGS Arkansas Water Science Center Assistant Director. “USGS crews have been out in the field taking flood measurements for more than 10 days now, and we’ll stay out there for as long as it takes for the high waters to recede.”
Bly with the Game and Fish Commission said sand and sandbags are available for homeowners’ use at Lawrence Landing Access, Paradise Landing, Cane Creek Access, near Palarm Creek Access and at the corner of Brandon’s Landing Road and Arkansas Highway 365.
“Palarm Creek Access parking lot is underwater,” Bly said. “Many roads around the lake that were questionable yesterday are now closed. A lot of houses have been impacted in low-lying areas – some boathouses are just showing rooftops.”
David Goad, AGFC Wildlife chief, says several WMAs, especially those in eastern Arkansas, can be dangerous because of high water.
“We’re asking people to stay off WMAs with rising water,” Goad said. “We don’t want people to become trapped by floodwaters.”