Glad I am out of NWA

The wife and I were catching a flight home from XNA yesterday after spending time with our moms.

Last time we were there, in early May, our return flight was cancelled due to weather. Yesterday it probably should have been.

We were on the plane a little before noon. Pilot told us the control tower was hit by lightning. Then everybody’s phone started howling. Tornado warning.

We had to disembark and head to the restrooms, which serve as tornado shelters. Rain outside was blowing sideways, and it was so hard you couldn’t see a foot ahead out there.

Got the all-clear, departed an hour late, then the ride to Houston was way too exciting.

You guys and gals in Arkansas and Oklahoma are getting absolutely pounded. The frequency of bad stuff is astonishing. And I laugh everytime somebody tells the newspaper where flood stage is supposed to crest on the Arkansas River. They don’t freaking know! The rain keeps coming and coming.

I read the other day that our area of Northwest Arkansas/Northeast Oklahoma has had more tornado warnings than any other region in the country this year. Fortunately none have dropped here, but there have been some along turnpike towns between Siloam Springs and Tulsa.

But what we’ve gotten has paled in comparison to Fort Smith, which is like a hometown to me. A lot of the homes on the east side where I used to spend time with friends have been submerged for days now. It has been tough to watch.

Matt or anyone else…

Can anyone tell me if travel on I 40 and I 49 are safe at this time?

My daughter is heading up to Northwest Arkansas for a couple of days and I know flooding has been an issue.

She will be traveling north on 75 out of DFW which turns into 69 and then east on I 40 to I 49 and north into Fayetteville.

Thanks in advance for any news on the roads.

I-49 is fine and I haven’t heard of any issues on I-40. The only trouble area on the interstate that I’m aware of was the I-540 bridge between Fort Smith and Van Buren, which closed for a night but reopened the next day.

Here is a great place for driving information.

Nothing is quite as bracing as hearing your street intersection mentioned in a tornado warning. It was during the tornado outbreak last week where storms kept spinning up and then being replaced by another cell just behind it. Had the family in the safety room until it was clear the storm was going just to our west. I have a handful of pictures of a half-mile wide wall cloud that is about 4 blocks away. Never dropped a funnel all the way to the ground, but several swirled as it went by.

Close enough for now.

Places that never flood…have flooded.

The Creek Nation Casino on the Arkansas River is closed through June, having been swallowed up by the river. Levees leaking from the bottom of the levee (water leaking under the levee pushing up through the levee) but the worst is behind and the levees seem to have held.

Was in KCMO last weekend for my son’s baseball and roads were closed on the way home due to even more rains there than in NE OK. The area of Coffeyville, KS that was evacuated was just getting the word to leave when we stopped in for a drink and gasoline. Our park and hotel in KC had debris from the big storms that hit this week.

Youth baseball has been a disaster this year - rain virtually every weekend.

it is bad but nothing like 2010 in Nashville which became recognized as more than a 1000 year flood. The Cumberland River in Bridgestone arena is unimagineable but did happen. Good luck and don’t count on the government to fix it, see Houston of late or New Orleans of old and Nashville who was left to our own resources to solve hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure damage. Very little return on tax dollars sent in for issues like this which seem to be where the most should be given back.

You are 100% correct on our governments making true on promises to repair/rebuild after natural disasters. I don’t know if money is allocated from the the Feds to the state and local governments and then utilized as they see fit, but it seems nothing is ever brought back to any resemblance of pre disaster form.

Sorry for the delay in responding Matt but thank you for the response. Happy to report she got up there and back safely.

Thank you for the help Votan! She got up there and back safely!

Our last year in Arkansas was 1997. We moved to Chattanooga in January of 98. My boss was from Oklahoma and said one of the best things about Chattanooga was that the tornado warnings that were a part of our lives in Arkansas would cease. The next Monday he called and said “never mind” since a tornado hit Chattanooga the weekend prior. We went more than a decade there without any close calls with tornado. But about 9 years ago one came up through Georgia and devastated parts of Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Dozen’s of folks lost their lives. And 7 years ago our neighborhood was hit by a EF4 tornado. I happened to be home with my wife, daughter and 2 grandsons. What a terrifying experience. Fortunately our home only had about $60,000 worth of damage but our friends across the fence were devastated. I respect tornado warning and watches very much now.