LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A pair of barges broke free from their mooring on the swollen Arkansas River today in Oklahoma and slammed into a dam in Webber Falls.
Luckily the dam did not appear to be damaged.
People in the town have been asked to completely evacuate due to flooding dangers.
The port of Little Rock has moved dozens of barges off the river’s main channel.
The Army Corp of Engineers warns of anticipated historic flows in the area this weekend.
“And it’s going to get substantially more dangerous,” says Fred Long with Logistic Services Inc.
Their boss Fred Long says as of Wednesday they’re only working in the Slack Water Harbour that’s off the main channel.
“Just because the high flows it will snap cables and ropes, so we’ve moved everything off the river,” says Fred Long.
With warnings of the river possibly flowing fast enough to make history in the coming days, the port’s director Bryan Day says they’ve moved about 80 barges to where Long’s crews are working.
“We are blessed at the port that we have a slack water harbour,” says Bryan Day.
That speed plus at least two barges breaking loose upstream in Oklahoma creates concern that Day hopes he can calm.
“We will be fine we know they’re secure they’re not going to be impacted by the flow of the water,” says Bryan Day.
He acknowledges that the river rising could cause a few concerns.
“But nothing like our friends and colleagues in Oklahoma are experiencing,” he says.
As we talk with Day another barge moves towards the harbour and as we talk with Long…
“It will be going about 15 times faster than it normally flows in the area,” says Long.
A boat speed by this boss on the portion where he already won’t put his crew at risk.