The arrival of rainfall from Tropical Depression Cristobal has the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looking at potential impacts on area dams and is asking residents downstream to prepare for high water.
The storm hits the region after the Corps has spent weeks discharging water from Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals, and Norfork Dams. The reservoirs of the lakes were one foot below flood pools as of last week.
“The five White River Reservoirs are already high into their flood storage pools from heavy repeated spring rains,” said Little Rock District’s Chief of Hydraulics and Technical Services Branch, Mike Biggs. “We see Cristobal coming and are prepared to capture as much rainfall runoff as possible. If rainfall runoff exceed a reservoir’s storage capacity we’ll go into surcharge operations.”
Rainfall forecasts for the storm show the region receiving up to 3 inches of rain. Rainfall totals for the White River Basin are 140 percent of normal for this time of year, and the year is tracking to be one of the wettest on record.
Residents and property owners downstream of the dams are being urged to take precautions and prepare for high water. Landowners along the river’s edge who have flooding issues should prepare to quickly head for higher ground. The Corps said they will try to give as much as advance notice as possible on releases from the dams but it will depend on the on-the-ground rainfall levels.