Rising water levels concern SWAR residents

Rising water levels concern SWAR residents

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - All of the rain received in the ArkLaTex over the past few weeks has to go somewhere and that means our creeks, rivers and lakes are near flood stage.

The excess amount of water is beginning to cause safety concerns for some and a joy for others.

"I take my boat out to the Texarkana dam and just ride the river," says Red River fisherman Steve Lorance.

Lorance said he fishes the Red River on a regular basis but Wednesday, he decided to leave his boat at home.

"It would be very dangerous out there," explained Lorance.

Lorance made a visit to the Red River at the Index Bridge just north of Texarkana on Highway 71 to check the water level.

"I don't know how high it is but I say 20 feet above normal, very dangerous," says Lorance.

The danger is not only the swift current but the debris being carried downstream.

At Millwood Lake near Ashdown, 125 cubit feet of water per second is released from the lake on a normal day but this week, lake officials said the number was up to 23,000 cubic feet per second and the extra amount of water eventually flows into the Red River.

"We discharge in the Little River which flows on down to the Red at Fulton so we are monitoring our flow to keep the impact at a minimum in Fulton downstream," explained Steve Spicer with the Corps of Engineers at Millwood.

Spicer says the high water has caused the Corp of Engineers to close nearly all of the recreational spots at Millwood and he is also cautioning boaters.

"Be aware of floating debris and submerged objects. Boating in high water could be hazardous," says Spicer.

But, the high water levels have not been bad for all.

"If anybody want to catch catfish, this is the time to do it," says fisherman Billy Dinger.

It is still not known how high the water levels will rise at Millwood or at the Red River but Spicer says even if there is no more rain, it would take several days before it will be safe to reopen camping and picnicking areas of the lake.

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