Home Archived January 13, 2017
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Reporter: Melissa Dunbar
Survey Crews Measure Flow Of Arkansas River         Download Video Clip
After another day of rain, Saline County residents are holding their breath -- the Saline River is one of many rising above the banks.

Benton resident Donnie Melvin has lived along the Saline River more than thirty years. He's using the flooding as a little lesson in hydrology to his grandkids.

Melvin says, "Just as soon as you step off the bank it's over your head so y'all wouldn't want to go down there right? It's very dangerous when it gets like this. You can see how fast the logs are moving in the river. That's how fast you'd be gone."

And this isn't even the worst he's seen.

Melvin says, "Well, from what I can tell it's not up in my neighbor's barn yet. I.ve seen it up in that."

In front of Melvin's home--two U.S. Geological Survey workers are using what they call a mini pontoon boat to measure how fast the river is flowing.

Hydrologist Matt Moix says, "We tether it across the stream about six to eight times just to measure how much water is flowing by with the flood that's occurring today."

They have a handful of crews scattered across the state doing this exact same thing in many streams and rivers.

Moix says, "We enjoy it, but come Monday we'll be happy when the rain ends."

At Lyle Park in Benton. The Saline River's banks are normally about ten feet from the picnic tables. Sunday you could eat at the tables with your feet in the river. Some say the river is seventeen to eighteen feet deep.

Bauxite Resident Rick Elam says, "When you look out here you see the water is up to there which is deceiving because there's a big drop off that goes 15 feet down this bluff here. In the summer time it's only four and a half feet deep."

Police were patrolling around the area to make sure no one got too close.
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