Faulkner County and most of Central Arkansas were walloped on Tuesday with weather events, from a tornado warning to flash flooding that threatened roadways ahead of 5 p.m. traffic.
A weather system that brought a tornado warning at 1 p.m., sending area school children to safe locations on their respective campuses, also sparked flash-flooding alerts chiming on cell phones across the county by 2 p.m.
By 4 p.m., county emergency management teams had a solid idea of roadways that would be giving travelers the most trouble as the weather system bringing the rain stalled over Faulkner County. Also by 4 p.m., the tornado watch in place until 6 p.m. had been canceled.
The National Weather Service anticipated rain through midnight and rainfall totals to crest at more than 5 inches in some areas of the county.
“A lot of what we’re seeing are places we normally see flash flooding,” said the county’s Office of Emergency Management Director Shelia Bellott. “We expect to see the water going down pretty quickly after the rain tapers off.”
“I do not anticipate having to worry about lakes and rivers rising like we did in April,” Bellott said. “We have had enough of a drought, and we’re really just seeing some flash flooding. I won’t say I have never been surprised before, but I don’t foresee any major flooding into Wednesday.”
Conway Police Department and the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office continued to post road conditions on social media throughout the rainfall throughout the evening on Tuesday.
CPD spokesman LaTresha Woodruff reminded motorists to always play it safe when flooding is a factor on roadways. She said if you approach a road that is flooded, turn around.
“It only takes just a little bit of water to get swept away,” she said.