BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — Benton County closed several roads due to flooding on Wednesday (May 1), and thousands woke up without power.
Portions of southwest Sebastian County in Arkansas and most of LeFlore County in Oklahoma were under a flash flood warning until 8:15 a.m. as heavy rain and thunderstorms moved into an already saturated area. It was later extended until 4:30 p.m.
An average of 1-2 inches have already fallen across Northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, said 5NEWS Meteorologist Joe Pennington. That has led to several road closures, particularly in Benton County in Arkansas.
The following roads in Benton County were closed Wednesday morning:
- Goosebury Road
- Parric Road
- Old Spring Town Road
- Spanker Creek Road
- Hazelton Road
- Georgia Flats Road
- Sugar Creek Road from U.S. 62 to Harris Road
- Rader Road
- Andy Jack Road
- Bill Billings Road
- Dawson Road
- Lucas Road
- Hummingbird Road
- Tanyard Hollow Road
- Ingram Place
Bella Vista also reported road closures.
- Camden Road and Bollington
- Camden Road and Quantock Hills Drive
- Forest Hills Boulevard and Cambria Drive
- Riordon Road (northbound side)
- Castleford Drive
- Lower Dogwood Drive
- Esher and Grosvenor
- Evanton at Loch Lomond entrance
Monroe Public School in Oklahoma warned parents on Facebook that its buses would run late or possibly not pick up in flooded areas.
“We will have school, but today will be very laid back,” the post said.
Schools in Lamar, Arkansas, were delayed until 10 a.m. to allow buses there to get around storm damage and flooded roads.
Ball Street, often plagued by flooding, was closed Wednesday as it went under water once again. Wilkerson Street was briefly underwater Tuesday night and Wednesday morning but was reopened by 9 a.m. Wednesday, said Capt. Jonathan Brown with the Johnson Fire Department. He said the road may be at risk of flooding again tonight as more rain moves through.
Brown said the fire department responded to a one-vehicle rollover accident early Wednesday morning that “more than likely” was a result of the wet streets. He said the accident happened between the Johnson Mill Bridge and the southbound on-ramp of Interstate 49. He said that area seems to see a lot of accidents during the rain, possibly due to the transition there between the concrete and asphalt surfaces.
It wasn’t just flooding that caused headaches Wednesday morning. Howe Schools in Oklahoma were closed because of power outages. Roof and tree damage was reported in the Howe and Summerfield areas in LeFlore County.
In Arkansas, thousands woke up without power Wednesday. Arkansas Valley Electric showed more than 2,600 people without power in the viewing area. In Johnson County, more than 1,500 homes are without power. Electricity was originally out for more than 5,000.
Several trees were also reported down in Johnson County, including a large pine tree near Ceco Concrete in Knoxville, as reported by a 5NEWS viewer.
Emergency personnel reported damage in the Knoxville and Hagarville areas, including building and roof damage, downed trees and downed power lines.
Lightning caused a house to catch fire north of Alma, according to Brad Thomas, Crawford County Emergency Manager. The home at 1124 E. Newberry Lane reported a kitchen fire as a result of a lightning strike last night, Thomas said.
The home’s occupants said a 220-volt wire blew up after the lightning struck the home, catching the attic and the stove ventilation system on fire. The fire damaged was contained to the kitchen area.
Kendall Beam, Sebastian County Emergency Manager, said there were reports of roof damage to a house and trees down near Barton Road and Echo Road near Mansfield, and he didn’t know of any road closures in the area due to flooding other than “the usual suspects.”
“Big Creek near Lavaca usually floods, but I haven’t even heard from them today,” he said.
Pennington said skies should clear up somewhat this afternoon before another system moves in after dark. That system could also bring heavy rain and thunderstorms, though those are not expected to be severe. The rain, however, could add to the flooding woes in the region.
“The area is looking at 2-4 inches of total rainfall by the time this all clears out,” Pennington said.
It’s expected to dry out over the weekend before another system possibly moves in next week, he said.