There has been a great deal of rain over the last two weeks, but despite that, road departments are seeing very few water-related problems.
“There’s water everywhere,” said city of Paragould director of public works Terry McAbee, “and the ground is saturated. So we’ve been out cleaning out ditches.”
Even so, he said, there have been no observable flooding issues in Paragould. McAbee explained that the lack of flooding is due to the nature of the rain events.
“It’s been a slow rain,” he said. “What typically causes us the problems is a short, hard rain – two to three inches in an hour.”
In such cases, McAbee said, the water overwhelms the drains, backing up into ditches and then onto streets, even into houses in extreme cases. “But it’s been slow,” he said.
Nonetheless, McAbee continued, residents are asked to be sure their trash hoppers have been moved to a place out of the wind.
“Otherwise, the wind can blow them into the ditches,” he said, “and they can fill up with water and block tiles. So that causes flooding, and it’s really hard to get them out of the ditches when they are full of water.”
According to the Naitonal Weather Service, rain through this morning were expected to bring between three quarters of an inch and one inch of rain with some strong wind gusts.
Greene County Road foreman Ronnie Barrow added that he was not aware of any flooding conditions in the county itself as of Thursday afternoon.
“There are a few mud holes,” he said, “but I have not heard of any flooding on the west side yet.”
Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) District 10 superintendent Brad Smithee expressed surprise at the relative lack of flooding issues within his area of responsibility. “The ditches are full,” he said, “and we are seeing some erosion.”
Smithee added that some roadways are starting to dip a bit due to all the water. “After days of rain, the roadways are going to be wet,” he said, “and that is leading to some potholes.”
Smithee also said that some drains had become blocked, leading to minor flooding in selected areas.
“But overall, no major concerns,” he concluded.