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City of 4,500 Makes 'Last Ditch' Flood Effort

Arkansas city is in serious trouble
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2019 2:30 PM CDT
Updated Jun 1, 2019 3:00 PM CDT
Connie Sollars stands on the porch of her wet front yard in west Tulsa, Okla., Friday, May 31, 2019.   (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)
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(Newser) – Crews were making a "last ditch effort" on Saturday to save low-lying parts of a small Arkansas city from floodwaters pouring through a breached levee, as authorities downstream were warning people to leave a neighborhood that sits across the swollen river from the state capital, the AP reports. The Arkansas River, which has been flooding communities for more than a week, tore a 40-foot hole Friday in a levee in Dardanelle, a city of about 4,700 people roughly 100 miles upstream from Little Rock. On Saturday, Mayor Jimmy Witt said officials don't believe that a temporary levee being constructed will stop the water from flooding the south side of Dardanelle, but he hopes it will buy time for residents of up to 800 threatened homes to prepare.

"We have started a last ditch effort to try and protect the southern borders of the city," he said at a news conference. The river has been widening the levee breach and floodwaters have been slowly approaching homes, officials said. Water from some creeks and tributaries has already flooded some houses, they said. One official says flooding has surrounded about 25 people in a rural community a few miles south of Dardanelle, and several roads have closed due to high water. Meanwhile in North Little Rock, officials went door-to-door Saturday to tell people in the Dixie Addition neighborhood to consider leaving. And there may be more to come: "Obviously the breach in Dardanelle is a sign that there could be more of these breaches that will happen as the pressure continues to mount in the coming days," says Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

(Read more flooding stories.)

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