6 inches of rain sends lakes, rivers over banks

Westside Eagle-Observer - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE ECKELS meck­els@nwadg.com

WEST­SIDE — Res­i­dents of De­catur, Gen­try, Gravette and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties en­joyed a warm sunny morn­ing on March 26 as the clouds be­gan to move in from the south. By early af­ter­noon, a strong south wind be­gan blow­ing, bring­ing with it an omi­nous sign of a change in the weather.

Early in the evening, rain be­gan to fall in north­west Arkansas and, by mid-day March 27, 4 to 6 inches of rain had fallen, with some ar­eas re­ceiv­ing even greater amounts.

At Crys­tal Lake in De­catur, lake lev­els rose so high that much of Crys­tal Lake Park and the park­ing area were un­der as much as a foot of wa­ter. Wa­ter poured over the spill­way and cre­ated a thun­der­ing wa­ter­fall be­low the dam.

On Grant Street in De­catur, wa­ter at the low-wa­ter bridge over Columbia Hol­low Creek was flow­ing so fast that city of­fi­cials were forced to shut down the bridge, strand­ing res­i­dents of the Grant Springs Apart­ments in their homes for sev­eral hours.

In Gen­try, sev­eral fields along Arkansas High­way 12 east of Arkansas High­way 59 were un­der wa­ter and some roads and drive­ways were flooded.

On the cor­ner of South Pleas­ant Val­ley Road, east of Spring­town, a county road crew worked in the rain to clear de­bris from a clogged cul­vert which backed up wa­ter and caused it to flow over the high­way. Work­ers re­moved sev­eral tree branches and a 12-foot log.

Rain re­turned Thurs­day morn­ing, threat­en­ing to flood the area again. For­tu­nately, the rain re­mained rel­a­tively light and caused no ad­di­tional flood­ing.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

A pickup waits at the base of Grant Av­enue in De­catur on March 27 as flood­wa­ter closed the low-wa­ter bridge across Columbia Hol­low Creek. Res­i­dents of Grant Springs Apart­ments were stranded for much of the day un­til the flood­wa­ter re­ceded enough that...

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

Two signs and a tele­phone junction box were un­der a foot of wa­ter at Crys­tal Lake Park in De­catur on March 27.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

A Ben­ton County road worker re­moves a large log that was wedged in a cul­vert as a tor­rent of wa­ter flows over the road­way at the in­ter­sec­tion of Arkansas High­way 12 and South Pleas­ant Val­ley Road near Spring­town on March 27.

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