The Arkansas River in the River Valley crested at just below 41 feet Wednesday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The water rose less than expected, but still beat the previous record of 38 feet. It also damaged nearly a thousand structures of which more than 600 were homes. As the river begins receding, residents and city leaders are undertaking recovery efforts. Volunteers can sign up to help here and monetary donations can be made to the United Way by texting FLOOD2019 to 91999.
Governor Asa Hutchinson is approving $100,000 in emergency funds to assist with flood support efforts in the state. The flooding, resulting from rainfall in northeast Oklahoma flowing downstream, is expected to get worse with storms set to pass through the state by mid-week. People interested in volunteering with recovery efforts can sign up here.
Five EF-1 tornadoes touched down in the River Valley this weekend, including one twister that cut a path down the middle of Fort Smith. The storms damaged dozens of homes, knocked down trees and snapped powerlines. Now, the River Valley is also preparing for flooding along the Arkansas River as water drains from northeast Oklahoma and Tulsa.