These are our best, most recent projections of numbers of Fort Smith residents and businesses expected to experience structural flooding as part of this unprecedented local flooding event. Based on our projected neighborhood flooding maps (posted as two Photo Albums to this page late yesterday, along with a link to the GIS (Geographic Info Systems) tool on fortsmithar.gov...
> 2,100–2,200 land *parcels* in the projected flood areas. (Homes and businesses. Not every parcel has a structure on it.)
> Up to 500 residences
> Current estimate of individuals displaced within Fort Smith so far – 100–200
(We expect the number of displaced individuals and families to increase over the next 24-72 hours.)
As info changes, State, County, and City Emergency Management, FSFD, and FSPD are asking affected residents to use good judgement in deciding if and when to voluntarily evacuate their homes. Neighbors, volunteers, and City employee volunteers have been helping residents in need as much possible.
*FSPD is heavily patrolling evacuated areas to protect properties while homeowners are temporarily displaced.*
GAWK FROM A SAFE DISTANCE
Area residents are asked to observe street closures and avoid closed and dangerous areas...
> So as not to inhibit authorities’ access,
> As a matter of public safety—both your own and our Police Officers’ and Firefighters’
> As a matter of respect to/for our First Responders who are responsible for your safety.
*NOTE:* FSPD can and will cite individuals who violate “Closed” and other public safety notices in dangerous areas.
> Do NOT drive around street barricades.
> Do NOT cross yellow Police tape lines.
FLOODWATERS MAY TAKE 72 HRS TO RECEDE
Arkansas and Sebastian County Emergency Management advise COFS that it may take 72 hours (possibly more) for floodwaters to recede following the Arkansas River's crest.
As authorities continue to have to release more water through Keystone Dam upstream (just west of Tulsa, OK), the anticipated *river crest* has been pushed to Tue.
HOW LONG MIGHT IT LAST?
Sebastian County Emergency Management advises flooding events like this tend to wield impact of at least 15 days.
Recovery efforts are being planned and organized between local authorities and direct and indirect relief services and local nonprofits.
We’ll share more info as it becomes available.
Please monitor alerts on your FSPD mobile app, as well as the “Fort Smith Police Department” (@FSPolice) Facebook page and right here at "COFS-City Hall" (@FTSmithAR).