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McGEHEE, Ark. -- Slow-moving rain clouds dumped double-digit amounts on southern Arkansas
over the July Fourth weekend, eroding roads in southwest Arkansas and burying young
soybeans in the southeastern corner.
In northwest Arkansas, the National Weather Service reported waist-deep water on Arkansas
7 on Sunday in Newton County near Dog Patch with a vehicle swept from the road and
A record high rainfall was reported Sunday in Mount Ida – it’s 1.85 inches besting
the old record of 1.53 set in 1932.
Since Friday, some parts of SE Arkansas reported up to 10.5 inches of rain.
Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture, said Sunday’s storm “just set up shop. It just blows
up and doesn’t move anywhere.”
“Some beans are going to take it on the chin,” he said, adding the worst case scenario
would be, “if the water stands on them for any amount of time, and then if the sun comes
out and gets hot, some of those beans will likely die.”
“It’s already July 6 and by the time it gets dry enough to replant, it’ll be the middle
of July,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s the same scenario as other parts of the state, except
we’re later. We’re already looking at half your yield potential on any fields that
will need to be replanted.”
The NWS reported flash flooding and road closures in Desha County on Sunday.
“I went out looking around yesterday and saw a lot of flooded roads, but most of that
has gone down. We’ve got a pretty good drainage system down here,” he said. “The problem
is when those drainage canals get full and all the ditches are full, the water will
stay out on some fields.”
Southwest Arkansas was hit by heavy rain that fell in a short period Friday night
into Saturday. In some locations residents reported 6 to 10 inches of rain. All this
on the heels of a very wet spring that saw severe flooding along the Red River from
constant rain and from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. On Thursday night, more
than 140 people attended a flood recovery meeting in Texarkana for livestock and crop
Terrie James, Hempstead County extension staff chair, said 21 roads were out as of Monday morning.
“The county judge had a beginning estimate of $400,000 in damage to roads as of Monday morning
and it was growing as more roads were being identified with damage,” she said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Steven Sheets, Hempstead County extension
agent for the Division of Agriculture. Sheets said flooding in the river bottoms
is expected, but “not here. This is the high ground.”
Sheets, who has a farm in the county, said he estimated that at one point, there was
eight feet of water over one culvert. The water then spread out, covering 50-60 acres
of land across two fields. The high water claimed a dump truck, a hay baler, and kidnapped
a few of his hay bales.
He wasn’t alone in losing hay.
“I had a producer with 50 and 60 bales in a field and the water floated them all off.
Six to eight of them were deposited along the woods line. The rest just disappeared,”
he said. These were no small square bales, Sheets said, the five-foot by six-foot
round bales “weigh 1,200 and 1,400 pounds each.”
For more information about flood recovery, contact your county extension office.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org