Barry Impacts: Flooding Swamps Arkansas Police Station and Animal Shelter; Washes Out Highways

Ron Brackett
Published: July 16, 2019

The remnants of what was once Hurricane Barry brought widespread flooding into southwestern Arkansas overnight Monday and early Tuesday.

Floodwaters rose over the hoods of cars in the parking lot of the Nashville, Arkansas, Police Department. A spokeswoman for the department told weather.com water was also getting into the building. A video showed a steady stream of water flowing by the Nashville City Hall and the road in front of it.

In Gurdon, Arkansas, water flowed into a handful of businesses along Elm Street.

Flooding at the Clark County Humane Society in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, killed at least one dog and others were in danger of drowning and hypothermia, Janie Allen, president of the board for the society, told Live Storms Media. Other dogs and puppies were swimming for their lives in their kennels.

Video from the scene showed water standing in kennels and wet puppies huddled under tables inside the building, where the water was knee-deep at one point.

(MORE: Barry's Long, Strange Trip

"Our dog yard has about 30 dogs in it and each was up to their chest or neck in water," Allen said. Inside the shelter, cats climbed on shelves to get out of the water. "We had some little puppies and you almost could not see their heads because of the water."

The shelter was asking residents of Arkadelphia with fenced yards to come take the dogs home with them until the shelter can be repaired. KTHV reported later that volunteers had picked up all 72 dogs remaining at the shelter, and that many other people had arrived to help clean up after the flooding.

Water reached knee-deep inside the Humane Society of Clark County in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. At least one dog died in the flooding.
(Brian Emfinger/LSM)

Several roads were flooded and one woman had to be rescued after driving into swiftly moving water in Arkadelphia.

Flooding shutdown Interstate 30 in several locations. Eastbound traffic had to exit the interstate at Hope, Arkansas, and detour to Malvern. Westbound traffic was diverted at the Gurdon exit to Highway 67.

Floodwaters also were washing over Highways 29, 51 and 182 out of Okolona, Arkansas, KATV reported. The state transportation department said a section of State Highway 19 in Pike County was closed by high water and a section of Highway 301 was washed out. Other closures were on Highway 67 in Nevada County, and on 371, 278 and 70 in Howard County.

By Tuesday afternoon, the DOT was saying the interstate and most of the roads were reopening.

The National Weather Service reported that four high-water rescues were performed in Nevada County, and at least one home in Prescott, Arkansas, was flooded by 18-inch deep water. Seven water rescues were reported in Howard County.

A vehicle is swamped on Highway 371 where floodwaters washed out part of the roadway on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, west of Prescott, Arkansas.
(Kyle Sweat/Twitter)

NWS declared a flash flood emergency for southern Pike and southern Clark counties shortly before 5 a.m. CDT Tuesday. At 5:48 a.m., the emergency was expanded for much of southwestern Arkansas, where more than 10 inches of rain had fallen in some places. About 10 a.m., a flash flood emergency was enacted for Howard, Northern Hempstead and Northern Nevada Counties.

Alabama

Officials said more than 250,000 gallons of sewage spilled from systems along Alabama's coasts during the storm. The Baldwin County Health Department said about 125,000 gallons spilled into D'Olive Creek in Daphne, Alabama. As much as 75,000 gallons of sewage was spilled into a ditch in Fairhope, while 8,000 gallons was discharged into Hollinger Creek in Bay Minette, according to the health department.

Across Mobile Bay, more than 80,000 gallons of untreated sewage spilled into three creeks in Mobile, according to the Mobile Area Water & Sewer System.

(MORE: Here's Why New Orleans Didn't Get 20 Inches of Rain

State officials warned people to stay out of the waterways and to thoroughly cook any seafood caught in them before eating it.

Mississippi

High winds, possibly from a tornado, tore off part of a church roof, damaged about a dozen homes and knocked down trees Tuesday afternoon near Victoria in far northern Mississippi.

Marshall County Emergency Management Director Hugh Hollowell told the Associated Press that several people were treated for minor injuries.

Barry's rains failed to wash away blue-green algae blooms that led to Mississippi closing all of its beaches, according to the AP. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Robbie Wilbur said water samples tested Sunday "indicated the continued presence of algal bloom."

The agency on July 7 closed the last two of 21 beaches along Mississippi's mainland Gulf Coast because of the cyanobacteria. Although the water is off limits, people can still be on the sand.

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Barry caused floodwaters to rise even higher on hundreds of square miles of Mississippi Delta farmland, WJTV reported. The backwater flooding began in February and has damaged more than 500 homes and other structures in Issaquena, Sharkey and Warren counties.

Billy Davis spread wooden pallets around his home in Sharkey County to walk on after the water engulfed his yard again.

"It’s hard because we have a lot of snakes and you know it doesn’t make coming outside fun at all," Davis said. "We have alligators floating around in our yard, but we’ve been trying and it’s been working so far."


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