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Increased chance for flooding around Lake Conway during high Arkansas River level

BY agfc

ON 05-24-2019


May 24, 2019

LITTLE ROCK — The potential for flooding exists for residences around Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir next week. The greatest concern for flooding should begin May 29 and continue for the next several days.  

According to the National Weather Service, the Arkansas River is expected to crest at 283.5 ft. MSL at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam May 29, exceeding the 1990 flood elevation and causing historic flooding. The extremely high water of the river is expected to push water up Palarm Creek and over the spillway at the Lake Conway dam. Backflow from the Arkansas River could be as high as two to four feet over the spillway.  An event of this magnitude has never occurred on Lake Conway, so it is unclear exactly how much backflows from the Arkansas River will impact the water level of Lake Conway.  

Rain is predicted in the Arkansas River Valley from Kansas and Oklahoma to central Arkansas later next week. Additional rains could further increase the flood threat around Lake Conway if the Arkansas River level prevents discharges from the lake, or remain high enough to backflow in the lake for an extended period of time.   

Based on the information provided by the National Weather Service, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is conducting a one-foot preemptive drawdown of Lake Conway to provide additional flood water storage in the lake.  

At this time, it is unknown if a flood event will occur on Lake Conway; however, given the current weather and river elevation predictions, we believe the potential for flooding exists.  Updates related to the flood threat around Lake Conway will be provided as conditions change and new information becomes available. Questions related to Lake Conway’s water level should be directed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Fisheries Office in Mayflower at 501-470-3309.

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