The region is looking at the first real chance of flash floods going into the weekend as a strong system makes its way into the area, bringing heavy rain and causing the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a Flash Flood Watch until at least late Friday night.
The NWS said the system is expected to bring heavy rainfall to parts of the Middle Red River Valley in extreme Northeast Texas, Southeast Oklahoma and parts of Southwest Arkansas Friday afternoon and night before it moves out of the region early Saturday.
The NWS predicts excessive rains of 3” or more to be widespread over the area with isolated areas potentially receiving even more. Add to that, the dormant state of vegetation will allow more of the rain to become runoff, raising the quick onset flash flood threat.
The Flash Flood Watch has been issued for portions of Southwest Arkansas, Southeast Oklahoma and Northeast Texas. Areas impacted include Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Nevada, and Sevier Counties in Arkansas, Red River County in Northeast Texas and McCurtain County in Southeast Oklahoma.
With the surrounding counties still trying to recover from frequent flash floods and the major flooding of the Little Missouri River in 2019, residents should take extreme precaution when encountering flooded roads. There were 92 people killed in the continental U.S. in 2019, according to the NWS. Four of those deaths were in Arkansas, 12 in Texas and seven in Oklahoma. If you encounter water running over the road, turn around and don’t risk the lives of you, your family and the responders who will be called on to try to rescue you.
We will be monitoring the weather as it progresses and update with any new information.