Thursday, July 10, 2008

Heaviest rain misses Beaver watershed

Spillway gates remain closed as heaviest rain bypasses Beaver Lake
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008
The weak cold front that drifted into the region early Wednesday and dumped nearly 2 inches of rain on Fayetteville should be retreating north this afternoon, the National Weather Service reported.

The front, common for this time of year, stalled over Northwest Arkansas and northern Oklahoma around midnight and produced heavy local rain, meteorologist Joe Sellers said from the agency’s Tulsa office.

The meter at Drake Field in Fayetteville recorded 1. 75 inches, while the meter at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill measured 0. 75 inches. Vestiges of the front could return to the region this weekend, but “that has yet to be seen,” Sellers said.

Not enough rain fell to warrant opening the spillway gates Wednesday at Beaver Dam, said officials with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. If the current forecast holds, the Corps does not have plans to open the spillway today, either, said Jan Jones, chief of reservoir control.

“It rained pretty heavy [Wednesday ] morning,” Jones said. “But a lot of it fell west of the basin, actually.”

Local agencies reported lit- tle if any trouble created by the lengthy downpour.

John Luther, director of Washington County Emergency Management, said Wednesday morning that no major problems had been reported. “So far we’ve only had reports of a couple of trees down, that’s it,” Luther said.

Deputy Doug Gay of the Benton County sheriff’s office said his area was spared the brunt of the storm.

“It was just kind of a nice, gentle rain,” Gay said. “I don’t know of anything severe in the county.”

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