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story.lead_photo.caption The areas in dark red were under flash flood warnings shortly before noon Monday. The areas in dark green are under a flood watch while the areas in light green are under flood warnings.

8:20 P.M. UPDATE:

Rain was still coming down throughout the state Monday night, and a number of counties remained under a flash flood warning, according to the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock.

In Pulaski County and the greater Little Rock metro area, a flash flood warning remained in effect until 9 p.m.

The rain is expected to continue through midnight, though it will taper off Tuesday morning, said Jeff Hood, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Forecasters still predict northwest winds largely between 10 to 20 mph across the state on Tuesday, with the possibility of stronger winds downing trees due to saturated ground, he said.

Since Sunday, portions of northeast Arkansas, which has seen the heaviest rains, have experienced over 5 inches of rain, Hood said. Letona, in north central Arkansas, reported 4.84 inches. Russellville received 3.71 inches. In central Arkansas, North Little Rock received 3.78 inches, and Little Rock received 2.39 inches.

Throughout Arkansas, roughly 20 segments of state highways were closed Monday evening due to high water, with about a dozen closed around Jonesboro in northeast parts of the state, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Department spokesman Danny Straessle said the heavy rain’s impact on road closures isn’t surprising.

“All of these are the usual suspects when we have a lot of rain,” he said.

According to Straessle, tributaries, creeks and other bodies of water haven’t been able to accommodate the significant rainfall the state has seen since Sunday. “There’s too much water to go in the culverts under the roads, so the water seeks its own direction over the roads,” he said.

Forecasters urged Arkansans to exercise caution as the rain continued to fall.

Flooding is one of the leading weather-related killers, according to Hood, taking the lives of more people than severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Most of these flooding deaths occur at night, he said.

“People just can’t see what they’re getting themselves into,” Hood said. “Just remember: If you see water across the road, you don’t know what that road surface is like below.”

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

EARLIER:

Much of Arkansas was under a flood warning Monday as rain continued falling throughout the day and evening, washing out roads, flooding homes and leading to at least one trapped motorist who needed to be rescued, according to weather and emergency officials.

The National Weather Service issued several flash flood warnings for western, central and northeastern Arkansas following more than 24 hours of nearly constant rainfall since Sunday.

One alert, which included Pulaski County and the greater Little Rock metro area and was originally set to expire in the early afternoon, was extended until 9 p.m.

Some 810,000 people were in areas under flash flood warnings, the weather service said.

The agency issued more flood warnings throughout the morning as several counties reported water covering roads and highways.

Officials were warning people not to walk or drive into flooded areas.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation noted more than a half-dozen state highways were flooded near Jonesboro.

Officials called a flash flood warning for Crawford County and other nearby communities until 8 p.m.

Authorities in Little Rock said they haven’t responded to injuries or other issues because of the water.

Fire Captain Jacob Lear-Sadowski said the department hadn’t responded to any water-related calls in Little Rock as of late Monday morning.

In North Little Rock, crews barricaded the 1500 block of Arkansas 161 because of high water.

The Pulaski County sheriff’s office said it blocked off nearly a dozen roads because of flooding.

Northwest of Little Rock, emergency crews rescued a man in Conway County after his truck became fully submerged and swept up in flood water along Springfield Road, emergency management director Johnathan Trafford said.

Trafford said the driver “tried to make it” but the water was too high. Trafford said the man wasn’t injured.

Jackson County officials also noted flooding in homes in low-lying areas.

The weather service had the county under an “areal” flood warning, which is designated by gradual flooding caused by persistent rainfall.

One school district in northeast Arkansas said it would dismiss class early because of problems caused by the heavy rains.

The Trumann School District said its schools would let out at 1 p.m. and stay closed on Tuesday to ensure student safety.

"Due to extreme flooding, our school’s sewer system is not able to function properly at the TMS campus," the post stated. "As the rain continues to fall and is forecasted to fall throughout the day and night, the streets are flooding causing interruptions and detours for bus transportation."

Forecasters say they expect rain to continue through Monday evening, with some areas getting up to 4 inches.

The weather service said flooding is likely around river basins, including the Black, Lower White, and Cache rivers, and their tributaries.

A cold front moving into the state will bring stronger winds Monday night, with speeds up to 25 miles per hour, forecasters said.

Winds are expected to lessen overnight as the rain tapers off early Tuesday morning.

Though the agency predicted Wednesday will be dry, minor showers will redevelop Thursday, with another wave of colder air to follow.

This map, provided by the National Weather Service, shows rainfall as of 5 a.m. Monday.
This map, provided by the National Weather Service, shows rainfall as of 5 a.m. Monday.

Stephen Simpson contributed to this story.

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