Overnight showers lead to road closures across southeast Arkansas

A vehicle pictured Tuesday goes underwater as a result of overnight flooding in Stuttgart. (Special to The Commercial/Paul Colvin)

Southeast Arkansas avoided tornadoes overnight Monday, but the heavy storms in this corner of the state produced flooding that has led to a number of road closures.

The heaviest impact of the storms resulted in Arkansas and Lincoln counties. Of the 22 road closures reported on IDriveArkansas.com as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, six of them were located in or near DeWitt in central Arkansas County, and five were reported in Lincoln County.

Residents in Stuttgart woke up to underwater cars as the flooding made the roads impossible to see. There was no immediate confirmation on how high the flood in the city reached. 

U.S. 165, connecting Stuttgart in the northern half of Arkansas County to DeWitt, was closed at one point and then rebounded. That left state highways 1B in DeWitt, 1, 11, 130, 165 and 276 still closed.

Arkansas 54, 83, 114 and 199, and U.S. 425 were still closed as of 9:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Lincoln County Judge Buddy Earnest said Tuesday morning he and other county officials had been out and about the county since 2 a.m. examining the storm damage in his area. Earnest reported pipes such as culverts going under roads had been washed out, and added that pipes on Autumn Hills Road between Alexander Road and Arkansas 530 would need to be replaced.

A citizen called Earnest and reported to him that a wooden bridge was washed out.

“The water is receding pretty good,” Earnest said. “Some low-water creeks have water going up to the road. We’re asking drivers don’t cross any waters.”

Jefferson County reported no damage from the Monday night storms, although Arkansas 199 going south from Moscow and into U.S. 425 was still flooded.

The National Weather Service in North Little Rock office confirmed a tree was blown down and struck a home 1 mile south of Star City on Monday night while “pretty extensive flooding” impacted the southeast portion of the state. Meteorologist Dylan Cooper said the storm is moving east of the Mississippi River and the weather in southeast Arkansas will clear up by Tuesday afternoon.

The only confirmed tornado in Arkansas on Monday, Cooper said, was spotted in Jessieville, in Garland County.