Despite over 7 inches of rain Saturday night, April 29, Clinton and the surrounding county reported minimal damage due to water or flooding. City of Clinton Floodplain manager Tim Clark said Monday afternoon he attributed the lack of flooding to the preparations the Corps of Engineers did in the past.
“The main thing was the channelization of the river the Corp did,” he said.
Clark explained the channelization was engineered in such a way “to push the water as fast as it would go” during significant rain events such as took place Saturday. While the inclination would be to make the water channels as large and wide as possible, he explained, by keeping them to a tighter width the channels actually move water faster by preventing water slowing at the banks.
Clinton Water and Sewer Department head Dickie Hink stated Monday that at that time the department clarifier, used to treat water when too much dirt gets mixed in, had not turned on yet - it being an auto start system. Hink said the department was continuing to monitor the system, as wash downstream may not reach Clinton until mid-week.
Clinton Mayor Richard McCormac reported getting one call about the auto-open doors at the school’s shelter being slow to open, but that was rectified quickly.
Cadron Creek Bridge at Highway 124 was impassible Sunday morning, with water over its bounderies per social media posts. Unconfirmed reports Tuesday afternoon, as this issue went to press, stated it was now passible.
Elsewhere in the state news was worse, with five deaths reported statewide due to Saturday’s’ storm. Storm damage to homes was in some cases significant. The state Department of Emergency Management has disaster declarations for 18 counties: Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Drew, Faulkner, Independence, Jackson, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Washington, White and Woodruff.
The National Weather Service, Little Rock, is predicting “heavy rain” for Wednesday, May 3, beginning in the afternoon, with showers continuing into Thursday.