Arkansas governor declares state of emergency
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has declared a state of emergency as the flood-swollen Arkansas River was scheduled to reach record levels next week.
Hutchinson issued the executive order Friday after having already directed the Arkansas National Guard to send high-water rescue teams to the western part of the state. The state of emergency suspends statutes regulating the actions the state and local governments take. The aim is to "render maximum assistance" to the state's emergency management department.
National Weather Service hydrologists predict the Arkansas River will crest Sunday at Van Buren, near the state's border with Oklahoma, at the record level of 41 feet (12 meters), 19 feet (6 meters) over flood stage. Further downstream, it was expected to crest Tuesday at Morrilton, 38 miles (61 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, at a record 42 feet (13 meters), 12 feet (4 meters) above flood stage.