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Hot Springs prepares for flooding

Heavy rain in Hot Springs has business owners worried downtown could flood. The Public Works Department is making sandbags available and warning residents to take precautions.
HOT SPRINGS, AR – Heavy rain in Hot Springs has business owners worried downtown could flood. The Public Works Department is making sandbags available and warning residents to take precautions.

Hot Springs, and especially Central Ave, is prone for flooding because of its location. Water from the hills to the north and west of Hot Springs flows into Hot Springs Creek, which runs under Central Ave in downtown to carry the water to the south of town.

Mike Hutzel owns a shop on Central Ave. He says last time there was a major flood in Hot Springs his store was filled with 4 feet of water.

“It’s a mess if you have to clean up, so we’re trying to avoid that,” says Hutzel. That is why he and other store owners are putting up plywood around there shop, to help protect against potential flood waters.

“The purposed of the boards is to actually turn the water, because when it comes down here it’s roaring and it’s fierce. So what you want to do is turn it away from your store,” said Hutzel.

Other storeowners are also taking precautions.

“It’s just better to be safe than sorry. We’re going to do some sandbagging and plywood just to be safe,” said James Sutherland.

The city is helping people prepare, hoping that no one is caught off guard. There are six gauging stations that monitor water levels in Hot Springs. When the levels reach a certain point, emergency personnel are notified to warn the public

“Pay close attention to the weather and listen for any flood warnings, especially if you’re in the downtown area. It doesn’t take a lot [of rain] over a short amount of time,” says Denny McPhate, the Public Works director.
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