Record-breaking rain leaves roads in Union County flooded

Published: Apr. 8, 2019 at 6:49 PM CDT
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Severe weather hitting the Arklamiss over the weekend. The record-breaking heavy rain left many streets closed in Union County, Arkansas.

"It's probably the worst I've seen in quite a while as far as flash flooding," says Lt. Christopher Lutman, El Dorado Police Department's public information officer.

Union County Judge Mike Lofton says all roads were back open as of Monday morning. He says crews are already starting to repair damaged roads.

Lutman has lived in El Dorado for ten years and says flooding is bad in the city, but last night was different for many in the area.

"This was an exception. It really hit hard and being that we are in an industrial city, all these side streets and everything kind of culminates, and it just wreaks havoc," Lutman says.

Lofton says people living in the communities of Wesson and Lisbon were unable to get out of their homes last night due to flooding. He says Smackover and Junction City schools were closed Monday.

Lutman is telling people not to drive across roadways with water because you never know how deep it could be.

"There were over 27 calls for service for flooded vehicles, and over half of those were not done because of the danger of their location," Lutman says.

El Dorado City schools were open Monday, but Lutman says busses had to be re-routed due to four flooded roads.

"Very deep, probably two foot or better," Clara Dopson says. She's lived in Union County most of her life and says El Dorado always has issues with flooding, but not quite like Sunday night.

That's why Dopson says she wants the city to fix its drainage issues. She says she even had to help a woman get out of her flooded car Sunday afternoon.

Lutman says flash flooding like this is a good reminder for the community to have a plan in case of an emergency. He says if your vehicle is swept off the road, open the windows as soon as possible.

He says you can take out your headrest and use the metal pieces on the bottom to break open a window.

In the next few years, Lutman says the city and state will be widening Highway 82, which should address some of the drainage issues in the area.