Spring River Floods in Sharp County

November 18, 2003 - Posted at 8:36 a.m. CDT, updated at 9:14 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Heavy overnight rains in some northeast and north-central Arkansas and southern Missouri Ozark counties of Region 8 have led to minor to moderate flooding today.  A river flood warning was in effect for the Spring River.

Izard and Stone counties in Arkansas, as well as Howell, Oregon and Ripley counties in Missouri were deluged with three to five inches of rain overnight, and rain continued to fall throughout the day in some of those areas.  The downfall has led some rivers and streams to spill out of their banks.

The only area where problems appear to occuring, however, is in Sharp County, where flooding along the Spring River forced the evacuation of a few campers at a campground north of Hardy, according to Deputy Jay English of the Sharp County Sheriff's Department.  Witnesses in Sharp County say the river is also out of its banks in and/or around the Spring River Beach Club and the Riverbend Campground.  According to an advisory from the National Weather Service, a rapid rise is underway in the upper reaches of the Spring, with the guage at Hardy rising over eight-and-a-half  feet during a four-hour period between 5 and 9 this morning.

Meanwhile, a caller from Cherokee Village tells K8 News the South Fork River in Cherokee Village is also flooded, saying he believes that river to be at its highest peak in more than 20 years.  Seven lakes in the Cherokee Village area spill into the South Fork.  K8 News also found flooding on the Creek River near the Sharp and Fulton County lines.  "We've got three trailers under water and two to three cars, so the main thing is trying to get everything secured and everything as safe and dry as possible," said resident Dean Lawrence.  Rusty Guinn of Jonesboro owns property in the area..."Water got up to the top of this wall.  In fact, we built this here to protect us from the normal high water.  I thought I might have needed to make it twelve inches, but as you can see, it would not have mattered."

Some schools in the southern Missouri counties canceled classes today due to water flowing over low-water bridges, while Sloan-Hendrix Schools in Imboden dismissed classes early this afternoon due to threats from the rising Spring River.

Rains are expected to continue falling throughout Region 8 for most of the day.  More rain and thunrderstorms are forecast for this evening, as well.