Officials discuss 2019 Arkansas River flooding, preparedness

March 8, 2020 GMT

VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — State, local, federal officials gathered in western Arkansas last week to discuss the response to historic flooding along the Arkansas River in Arkansas and Oklahoma and ways to reduce damage in the future.

Following the closed-door meeting Tuesday, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Eric Noe said levees along the river “held up well,” but need to be assessed for possible improvements, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

“That levee system is very, very good to protecting our communities,” Noe said. “It held up extremely well given the extreme flood conditions last year, but what we’re looking forward to is make sure they’re going to work in the future as well.”

The Corps in September proposed a $160 million plan to shore up levees around Tulsa that have been weakened by past flooding.

The 2019 flooding that began in May inundated hundreds of homes and business along the river.