Heavy Rain Could Lead to Flooding in Region 8

January 11, 2007 -- Posted at 6:55 p.m. CST

BATESVILLE, AR -- Heavy rain expected over the weekend may cause flooding problems in Region 8.  One area getting ready for high water is Batesville.

"There is the potential for some major flooding," said Glen Willis, Coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management in Independence County.

Glen Willis keeps a close watch on the weather.  He's with the Independence County Office of Emergency Management.

"At this point in time there has been little change.  They're still expecting four to six inches of rain.  Due to the ground being saturated, they're saying most of that will be run-off," said Willis.

The river rose a foot over flood stage in December.  Now, there's a chance the water could go higher.

The O.E.M. in Independence County has some sand bags if they're needed, but they haven't been used for some time.

Flooding in and around Batesville could effect some factories and a hydro electric plant on the White River in Stone County.

The hydro electric plant is currently under construction and already has some equipment inside, so workers are doing what they can to protect that from potential flooding.

"At this point, we have already notified our crews.  They are ready.  If we have anything this weekend, they will be ready with the equipment and trailers and trucks to move our floodgates to the proper locations," said Willis.

The floodgates are put into place only when the river stage has reached a certain point.

"When the river stages reach a certain level at Calico Rock we activate part of our flood plan.  As the river stages change, we increase to meet those needs," said Willis.

Willis says that level is 34 feet and in flood situations the water can rise very fast and very unexpectedly.

"We're not worried.  We just want to be prepared and be ready if this should happen," said Willis.

The rainfall is expected to start sometime after midnight on Thursday night.