Texarkana, TX 57° View Live Radar Fri H 54° L 41° Sat H 57° L 38° Sun H 60° L 40° Weather Sponsored By:

OVERFLOW: Little River floods region, forcing road closures

OVERFLOW: Little River floods region, forcing road closures

December 29th, 2015 by Lori Dunn and Jim Williamson in Texarkana Region

Kirk Defoor talks to his neighbors on the phone while walking on his front deck into his home Tuesday on Riverside Drive in Little River County. The rise of the Little River has flooded his road and many of the homes in the area. "There's nothing I can do about it, so I refuse to get really upset. I've got flood insurance and I'm thankful for that. I'll be able to get my house in order," Defoor said.

Photo by Jerry Habraken /Texarkana Gazette.

The Little River has become a big river flooding the Little River Club in northwestern Little River County and nearby houses across state Highway 41.

The floodwaters have also flowed south and crossed state Highway 380.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation officials have closed state Highway 380 from the Little River Club to the Oklahoma border.

The Little River Club is a housing addition with about 30 permanent residents and 125 cabins along the Little River and about four miles south of Horatio.

Homes that line the banks of the Little River in Little River County are flooded or very close to receiving serious damage from the rising river Tuesday.

Homes that line the banks of the Little...

Photo by Jerry Habraken /Texarkana Gazette.

The waters have flooded the house of Claire Davis, who lives on the east side of state Highway 41.

"The water is cold and about 4 feet outside of the house and has been rising inside the house by about 5 inches," said Davis, an administrative assistant in the collector's office for Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory. 

"The water is about waist deep outside of my house and about 5 inches inside the house," Davis said.

The house is elevated by cinder blocks.

"I have good neighbors. My brother John (Billingsley) used his tractor with a bucket to haul some of the items out of my house. A lot of big strong men helped. I've known them since they were kids who helped to get everything up in the house," Davis said.

"I've lived here since 1977, and it's never got this deep. It's a mess," she said, adding, "It could be worse. I'm still alive and it will all come out in the wash, somehow."

The flood warning continues for the Little River at Horatio until further notice, according to a statement from the National Weather Service in Shreveport, La.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the current stage was 34.4 feet, causing major flooding. The flood stage is 27 feet.

"The impact at 34 feet, is serious flooding of several thousands of acres of grazing and farming land," said the weather service report, adding, "The Kansas City Southern Railroad bed will be flooded both northwest and southeast of the Highway 41 bridge. Several secondary roadways will be cut off in the area. Also expect severe back water flooding on the Cossatot River and Rolling Fork River upstream at the confluences with the Little River."

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray said several houses on the north side of the Little River have been encouraged to evacuate.

"They have been told the situation and what the river level is," Ray said.

The houses are on roads right on the Little River off of Highway 41.

"It's a beautiful area and these homes are right on the water," Ray said, "They have boats tied to their houses right now."

Ray said some houses are on stilts and should be OK but other homes will probably be flooded.

A trailer park south of the Sevier County Fairgrounds near De Queen was evacuated Sunday night but residents have since been able to return home. Water from Little River that flows into Bear Creek prompted the evacuation. There is also water in some of the fair buildings

De Queen Lake is expected to crest today. The Army Corps of Engineers of the Little Rock District began a 400 cubic foot per second release Monday morning from the De Queen Dam. De Queen Lake is anticipated to crest between 478 to 479 feet which would be a new pool of record. The current record pool occurred during the June flood event at an elevation of 472.8 feet.

Officials expect minor flooding to occur along the Rolling Fork River and in low lying areas downstream of the De Queen Lake.

People in at-risk areas should stay in contact with local emergency officials.