Daily Mail, by Marlene Lenthang: As the nation reels from heatwaves, tornadoes, and storm warnings, the Midwest is about to be inundated with record flooding this week as several major rivers are forecast to reach historic levels.
The Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers are expected to flood at record-breaking levels as a downpour of rain is forecast to drench the Midwest states on Tuesday and Wednesday.
National Weather Service Little Rock warned that the Arkansas River may experience ‘the worst flooding in recorded history’ as it’s projected to crest on Wednesday at 42.5 feet in Van Buren, breaking the 1945 record of 38.42 feet.
It’ll be devastating for Arkansas and Oklahoma communities that are already underwater.
The Arkansas River has flooded hundreds of homes in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and more are expected to be flooded as more water is released from a dam, according to Tulsa World. City officials expect as many as 500 homes to flood eventually.
In Arkansas the river is above flood stage in Fort Smith and Van Buren as of Tuesday. Crests are expected to be seen from May 31 to June 7.
‘Based on impact statements from previous floods and the newest forecast crests, this will be the worst flooding in recorded history along the Arkansas River from Toad Suck and points northwest,’ the NWS tweeted Sunday.
They predicted levees would be flooded and there would be ‘significant impacts to life and property across a very large area.’
Thanks to already significant rain in the area, the flooding is expected to be ‘prolonged and impacts will remain significant through much of the upcoming summer.’
And the floods will only continue as the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center released a warning of a moderate risk of excessive rainfall, anticipating five to seven inches of rain across the region in states including Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
As of Tuesday, two levees were topped off in the Arkansas River, as per The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that he spoke with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and will offer FEMA and federal air to help with the record flooding.
The floods got so bad in Oklahoma that the water turned the community of Braggs, Oklahoma into an island last week.
‘They were panicking. With morale the way it was — crisis mode — I wanted them to see me face to face and hear me say, “It’s going to be alright,”‘ Muskogee County Commissioner Ken Doke told the Tulsa World.
The National Guard has also been asked to help with flooding in Kansas, where the Arkansas River runs through. Gov. Laura Kelly has declared a state of disaster in 49 of Kansas’ 105 counties, as per Weather.com.
The rain is expected to hit many areas that are already reeling from high waters.
‘Flood advisories are in effect, watches and warnings in some of the same neighborhoods we have been talking about for month,’ Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Tuesday. ‘They can’t take any more rainfall and all of that is going to go downstream.’
‘We could see incredible damage, possibly catastrophic damage for these areas that are affected by heavy rainfall. Some of those areas could get hit hard by catastrophic flooding, people are being told to evacuate their homes right now,’ he added.
So far, evacuations were ordered in nine counties in Arkansas. The Red Cross reported 16 people in shelters so far.
The rain will flood the Mississippi River, which is projected to swell and crest at 44 feet in St. Louis this week – the second-highest record in history.
The highest the river has crested was at 5 ½ feet higher in 1993.
‘This has definitely been a year for the record books. It’s certainly on the short list for worst [local] river flooding ever,’ Thomas Spriggs, a senior meteorologist NWS St. Louis said to the St. Louis Dispatch. ‘It’s going to go on for a while longer yet.’
This year alone the Mississippi River in St. Louis has been above flood stage for 73 consecutive days.
On Monday Missouri Governor Mike Parson deployed the Missouri National Guard to support sandbagging operations to shore up a levee near Brunswick.
‘Missouri has been battling historic flooding since March, which is depleting local resources, and now flooding conditions in many parts of the state are only getting worse,’ Parson said Monday.
‘In addition, communities from Carl Junction to Jefferson City are facing the challenge of recovering from tornadoes and severe storms, further challenging civilian resources. The Guard has demonstrated its capabilities in response to natural disasters across Missouri, and I know they’ll make a difference at this critical time,’ he added.
“The messengers of the cross must arm themselves with watchfulness and prayer, and move forward in faith and courage, working always in the name of Jesus. They must have confidence in their Leader; for troublous times are before us. The judgments of God are abroad in the land. Calamities follow one another in rapid succession. Soon God is to rise out of His place to shake terribly the earth, and to punish the wicked for their iniquity. Then He will stand up in behalf of His people, and will give them His protecting care. He will throw His everlasting arms about them, to shield them from all harm.” Gospel Workers, page 264