North Little Rock to use drones in monitoring rising Arkansas River

Local News

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In a matter of minutes, officers in North Little Rock can have a birds-eye view to live video of the flooding situation.

“It gives us an arm and capability we’ve never had in the past as a law enforcement agency,” says North Little Rock Police Lt. Jim Scott.

Lt. Scott is one of the department’s drone pilots.

The entire city of North Little Rock has nearly a dozen drones, some of them are being utilized to give decision-makers on the ground a big-picture perspective to the rising river and areas under water.

“It gives them an immense ability to make the right decision at the right time which can actually mean the difference between life and death,” says Lt. Scott.

While the city has been using drones to monitor the flooding the week, Lt. Scott says the police department’s first flying mission related to the flood is Wednesday.

The drone can be up and operational within five minutes and can help first responders during water rescues if needed.

He says drones allow the city to see where property or equipment could be damaged by water before it happens.

“By looking at the video the water is so fully contained,” says Lt. Scott. “We know by tomorrow, that is going to change.”

We’re told the city is saving all the photos and video to help apply for FEMA assistance if it reaches that level.

As the camera lens looks down on the growing problem, North Little Rock can prepare for even more water that is expected to crest next week.

“We know it’s coming,” says Lt. Scott.

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