Storms in Southern USA – Severe Floods in Arkansas, More Rain Forecast

A severe storm system swept across parts of the South and the Midwest USA late on Wednesday 30 March, 2016.

Flooding has been reported in Arkansas. Jonesboro was one of the worst hit areas, where emergency services have carried out several flood rescues and responded to dozens of calls from stranded drivers. Jonesboro Police Department report that several roads have been washed out and urged everyone to stay at home and off of the roads until the waters recede. A temporary shelter has been opened at Allen Park Center for any people displaced by floods or those unable to get home. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

National Weather Service (NWS) Memphis said via Social Media:

“A potentially life threatening flash flood emergency is ongoing in Jonesboro, AR. Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary”.

Record Rainfall

Several areas in Arkansas and Tennessee have recorded over 4 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. National Weather Service (NWS) said that much of the rain had fallen in a 3 hour period early on 31 March. In some areas of eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee and southern Missouri, a further 3 inches of rain over the next few hours was likely and flood warnings and flash flood warnings have been issued for at least 17 locations across the three states.

NWS Memphis also confirmed earlier today that after the recent heavy rain, this month has been the wettest March on record in Memphis. 2.73 inches of rain has fallen in the last 6 hours, early on 31 March.

Rainfall figures for parts of Arkansas and Tennessee, 30-31 March 2016. Image and data: NWS Memphis
Rainfall figures for parts of Arkansas and Tennessee, 30-31 March 2016. Image and data: NWS Memphis

Storms to Continue

The storms and heavy rain are expected to continue, increasing the flood threat across the south east.

National Weather Service (NWS) warned that “strong to severe storms expected across the Mississippi Valley and Southeast through Friday……Heavy rain and flash flooding to threaten the lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast over the next few days.

A tornado in Tulsa, Oklahoma, struck late on Wednesday, injuring at least 9 people and causing damage to roads and buildings.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: July 15, 2016
Event
Arkansas, USA, March to April 2016
Date
March 31, 2016
Type
Flash flood, Inland flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
A severe storm system swept across parts of the South and the Midwest USA late on Wednesday 30 March, 2016. Flooding has been reported in Arkansas. Jonesboro was one of the worst hit areas.

Locations

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Magnitude

Rainfall level
75 mm in 3 hours
Jonesboro

Damages

Roads blocked
~12
Jonesboro