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McDonald County Officials Warn Campers of Flash Flooding
By Carla Pesono
PINEVILLE, MO.--- Officials say more than a thousand people go camping on the weekends in the summer. When heavy rain is in the forecast people should plan accordingly.
"There's gages on several of our streams through the USGS and we watch those to see what the flows doing," said Gregg Sweeten, McDonald County Emergency Management Director.
McDonald County Emergency Management Director Gregg Sweeten has been monitoring the weather, especially since heavy rain has been occurring. He says situational awareness is key when planning a camping trip along the rivers.
"If Arkansas is getting rain, then little Sugar may rise. If Barry County's getting rain, then Big Sugar may come up quickly, or if Newton County gets rain, Indian Creek. All three of those are factors on Elk River," said Sweeten.
Just east of Pineville, there was flash flooding Thursday night into Friday that caused water levels in the river to rise nearly a foot and Tilden campgrounds to flood. Emergency crews had to rescue a group of people off one of the islands.
"Every year, we usually have a flood or have some high water where we get somebody that's stuck that didn't think it was going to get as high as it did," said Sheriff Michael Hall, McDonald County.
McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall says people need to use caution at all times.
"A little branch in Anderson is where there was several houses flooded that doesn't normally flood like that," said Sheriff Hall.
"They can check our Facebook page or we have an alert system that they can sign up for, but they really should just be aware. If it's going to rain a lot, then the campgrounds are going to probably flood," said Sweeten.
We have provided a link to sign up for the McDonald County Emergency Management Alert System, click here.