Four days of record rainfall in Arkansas left behind flash floods, road closures, and for farmers, stranded soybeans and unplanted winter wheat, said Extension agents with University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
The National Weather Service at Little Rock reported 96-hour totals as high as 9.94 inches at Board Camp Creek near Nunley and 9.62 inches at the Mena airport. Daily record rainfall was recorded on Saturday at North Little Rock. 2.85 inches; Batesville and Fayetteville, both at 2.2 inches; 2.97 inches at Jacksonville/Little Rock Air Force Base; and 2.36 inches at Mount Ida.
Swift water rescues from Saturday’s flash flooding were reported in Hot Springs, Traskwood and Malvern and road closures were reported in Hot Spring, Perry, Saline counties. As of 3;35 p.m. Monday, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department was reporting road closures near Cord, Grubbs, Tuckerman and Arkansas 230 at the Cache River due to high water.
A mostly dry autumn enabled Arkansas farmers to get close to completing harvest before the rain started. On Monday, in its final report for the 2015 season, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said that soybeans were 98 percent harvested, peanuts 99 percent harvested and winter wheat 98 percent planted.
“There are still some soybeans yet to be harvested so you can imagine the ruts and increased difficulties due to the wet soils,” Hank Chaney, Extension area agriculture and natural resources educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said on Monday. The wet ground “should, for the most part, halt what little wheat was still yet to be seeded.”
There was some good news. “Some wheat was not emerged prior to the rain, but the long-range weather forecast looks promising for wheat emergence,” he said.
In eastern Arkansas, “What wheat is planted will be,” said Robert Goodson, Phillips County Extension agent. “Acres will be down from the previous years” but what wheat has emerged is doing well.
Across the state “we are mostly suffering from muddy pastures,” said Carla Vaught, Polk County Extension staff chair. “It is causing some ruts and damage where people are feeding hay and trying to get into pastures.”
Even though the areas around Mena had some of the state’s highest rainfall totals for the four-day event, “the rain was slow enough that we really didn’t have any big flooding issues. … Now, if you want to talk about potholes, we have some doozies,” she said.
For more information about dealing with the aftermath of flood, visit http://www.uaex.edu/environment-nature/disaster/ or contact your county Extension office.