VAN BUREN (KFSM) — Engineers with the Army Corps has set up in Sebastian and Crawford counties to help emergency managers monitor flooding near levees.
“They are working how they were designed to work,” Crawford County Emergency Manager Brad Thomas said about the levees in his county. “I can’t reassure the public enough. We are watching from air and on land.”
The Army Corps is helping monitor all 26 miles of the levees in Crawford County.
Thomas said engineers will stick around until the threat has passed.
The levees are what stand in the way of the river taking over towns in Crawford County. Many wonder just how close the water will rise against the levees.
Thomas explained what he is seeing in Crawford County.
“We can go as high as 45 feet and we’re projected to go to 42 1/2, which is close. So, we’re consistently having to monitor the situation,” he said.
In Fort Smith, there are natural levees and concrete wall levees in place along River Front Drive.
Fort Smith City Administrator Carl E. Geffken said this historic flooding is about 5 feet from the top of one part of a levee but is confident the river will not overtake the levee.
“The Army Corp of Engineers asked that the levees be inspected every four to six hours and they are sending their crew of people to come down and perform that for the City of Fort Smith,” he said.
Makeshift levees have been installed in the downtown Fort Smith area near River Front Drive, extending the levees already in place.
“It’s to make sure that if the river is going any higher than projected, we are protecting our downtown area,” Geffken said.