Historic flooding predicted along Arkansas River

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - Residents in parts of Arkansas are preparing for what meteorologists are predicting will be the worst flooding in recorded history along parts of the Arkansas River over the coming week.

The National Weather Service said in a statement that Sunday that levee "over topping" is likely with "significant impacts to life and property across a very large area."

The river is expected to crest Tuesday near Fort Smith, Arkansas, at 41 feet (12.5 meters). The city on the border with Oklahoma has roughly 80,000 residents. Spokeswoman Karen Santos said the city is in "preparedness and warning mode."

She says one home is already completely submerged and about 500 homes either have water very close or in them. Authorities predict hundreds more homes and businesses will flood by the time the river crests.