Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Jaysson Funkhouser at 501-766-3663.
Heavy rainfall of more than 8 inches in northwestern Arkansas has caused substantial flooding in parts of the White River and Arkansas River Basins.
USGS field crews have been out since Friday, Apr. 22 collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control, and the various state and local agencies in their flood response activities.
In Arkansas, there are more than 150 USGS-operated streamgages that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. More than a dozen streamgage stations have measurements approaching or above flood stage. The most substantial flooding is occurring at the USGS streamgages in the smaller to moderate-sized streams of the White River and Arkansas River Basins.
“These are major floods and we know that people’s lives are at risk, so we work rapidly to make accurate flood measurements and keep our real-time gages operating,” said Jaysson Funkhouser, USGS Supervisory Hydrologist. “If any of the gages are damaged or destroyed, we will repair them as quickly as possible to ensure that the data are available to the National Weather Service and Corps of Engineers for their flood-forecasting and flood-control operations.”
A map of real-time streamflow monitoring sites and graphs of flooding in Arkansas from the past 7 days are available at the USGS Arkansas Water Science Center real-time streamflow website.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.
Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.