Area flooded after rain

Posted: April 18, 2013 at 9:05 a.m.
Updated: April 18, 2013 at 12:39 p.m.

Flooding at a Lake Bella Vista trail.

Heavy rain overnight and through this morning flooded streets, trails and streams throughout the area.

Most of Benton County and part of Washington were under a flash-flood warning. The National Weather Service was predicting up to an additional inch of rain today in some parts of Northwest Arkansas.

Flooding is reported throughout the Benton County and County Judge Bob Clinard declared an emergency due to flooding.

High water in Johnson

Heavy rain early Thursday brought high waters in Johnson. (By David Gottschalk)
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Roads closed


  • Main Drive and Cardwell Street
  • Main Drive and Wilkerson Road
  • Wilkerson Road and Joyce Boulevard


  • Frisco Trail near low-water bridge
  • Outside lane of Gregg Avenue south of Johnson


  • North 52nd Street and Metro Parkway and Horsebarn and Metro Crossing are closed on the Rogers and Bentonville sides.
  • Rainbow Road and Northgate in the area of the low water bridge.
  • Bellview Road and Garrett Road.
  • 5700 block of Stoney Brook Road at the low water bridge.

Washington County

  • Washington County Road 399, near the low water bridge

Mike Dixon, deputy director of the Benton County Emergency Management Agency, said countywide there were 53 roads closed due to flooding and eight instances in which motorists were stranded when they tried cross flooded roads. No injuries were reported.

In a news release, Robert McGowen, director of emergency management for the county, urged drivers to be cautious about water-covered roads, noting that drowning is the leading cause of death from severe weather.

Two men were rescued from rising water on Rainbow Road early Thursday, according to the Rogers Fire Department. Water came over the road on both sides of a low water bridge on Rainbow Road, just north of Northgate Road. One man drove through some water and stopped on the bridge, and another’s vehicle was stopped in approximately 2 feet of water, said Cap. Jeremey Criner.

“The bridge in the middle did not have water on it at the time,” Criner said.

Firefighters used a tethering system before wading out to the cars, said Deputy Chief Bryan Hinds. The drivers were given a floatation device and walked to safety, one to the north and one to the south bank, Criner said. To reach the man stranded on the bridge firefighters waded through 3 to 4 feet of water, he said. Fire personnel flanks both sides of the bridge during the rescue.

Bentonville was hit hard by flooding, officials said. Many of the pedestrian tunnels along city trails were full of debris and wooden trail bridges were washed away.

Street and Parks Department workers were out while rain fell this morning trying to clear debris.

Ben Peters, city engineer, said water levels had fallen 18 inches this morning from a high point overnight. The dam at Lake Bella Vista is already damaged from previous floodwaters. Peters said he checked the dam this morning but was unable to get to the damaged portion to evaluate how it was holding.

"It may be tomorrow before we know anything," he said.

Lake Bella Vista flooded most portions of it surrounding trails. The disc golf course at the park was completely underwater.

Mauro Campos, battalion chief with the Fayetteville Fire Department said his agency hadn't responded to any swift water rescues as of Thursday morning.

Scott Stober, head of the county Road Department, said he had reports of west Benton County receiving 5 inches of rain and the east side receiving 4 inches.

Stober said several low water bridges, box culverts and other culverts were washed out. Other bridges were under water and could not be assessed. Those include the Spanker Creek bridge, Georgia Flats bridge, Phillips Cemetery bridge and Wagon Wheel bridge.

“We just got a lot of logjams right now," Stober said. "We really can’t say what the damage is.”

Amy Jankowski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Fayetteville received about 1.5 inches of rain since just after midnight today.

There were no confirmed reports of tornados in Benton County early this morning, according to Marshal Watson, Benton County public safety administrator.

Watson said the National Weather service is looking at a possible touchdown in West Siloam Springs and two in Delaware County, all in Oklahoma.

Warning sirens were sounded in Siloam Springs, Bentonville, Decatur and Gentry, Watson said, after a tornado warning was issued after 2 a.m. this morning by the weather service.

Storm warning sirens in Rogers were not activated.

“We didn’t receive a tornado warning alert from the National Weather Service in Tulsa,” said Keith Foster, public information officer for the Rogers Police Department.“We only activate the sirens when we receive a warning from the weather service.”

A small fire damaged a home on Misti Court in Siloam Springs when lightning struck it, ran down a gas line and caused the water heater to explode at about 3 a.m. Thursday, said Holland Hayden, communications director for the city.

The explosion was heard at the Police Department, Hayden said. The home is in the Tara Heights subdivision.

A Siloam Springs police officer extinguished the fire with a portable extinguisher and led the family to safety, she said. The fire was contained to the water heater area.

Siloam Springs firefighters also responded to a call of a car being swept off 690 Road in West Siloam Springs, Okla., because of flooding, Fire Chief Greg Neely said. The driver was later located and was safe.

Roads were open throughout Bella Vista with only a few minor accidents reported, Alisha Larson, a dispatcher with the Bella Vista Police Department said. Traffic was slow, she said, but not because of accidents.

However, Dogwood Drive, which is adjacent to Sugar Creek and the Bella Vista Country Club, was closed due to high water.

At Bella Vista, Casey Crittenden, the Property Owners Association’s golf maintenance manager, said he was waiting for the water to go down so he could determine damage.

“Obviously we have everything closed,” he said as several of the golf courses along U.S. 71 were flooded. He expected to have to clean debris from many fairways.

“It’s not as bad as a few years ago,” he said. In 2011, the golf courses were flooded twice, once in April and once in May. He believes there was more water on the courses during each those incidents. In June 2011, the POA moved $547,000 from reserves to cover flood damage, treasurer Dwain Mitchell said on Wednesday.