by Marc Henning
by Marc Henning
Northwest Arkansas was inundated with rain totals pushing beyond 15 inches in some areas as a strong storm front stalled over the region for seven days. Flooding was widespread across NWA and five people were killed after getting caught in the rising water. I was off on Monday when the water levels began to rise dramatically. Being a photojournalist I couldn’t just sit home in Bella Vista when I knew there was massive flooding happening in my own area. I grabbed my gear and headed out into the storm. The floodwater level along U.S. 71 in Bella Vista was the highest I have ever seen it since moving to the area in 2002. Kingswood, Berksdale and County Club Golf Courses were mostly under water along the highway and Lake Bella Vista was flowing several feet over the lake’s dam.
I returned to work on Tuesday and was sent out that morning to the town of Beaver and the U.S. 62 bridge in Carroll County to get photos of the flooding happening due to the floodgates being opened Beaver Dam. The Carroll County Road 187 bridge, also known as the mini Golden Gate Bridge, was partially submerged from the rising water. It was quite the sight to see. After getting my photos in Beaver I headed over to the U.S. 62 bridge to find any residents along the White River/Table Rock Lake that were experiencing flooding on their property. I happened upon Richard Pianalto’s home situated within eye shot of the bridge. He had a large group of family and friends who had been working since the day before to remove his belongings, furniture and finishings from the house ahead of the rising water. Pianalto experienced three feet of water in his home during the 2008 flood, so he was better prepared this time around and got a jump start on the flood. When I left his home to head back to Rogers the water level had already risen several inches within a short amount of time. It’s easy to see how people lose their lives in this kind of situation if they aren’t prepared and attentive to the danger around them. My heart goes out to the flood victims and their families as well as all of the others who have been directly affected by this disaster.
The last photo in the group was a light-hearted look at how we all pretty much feel after seven straight days of rain. I was looking for a weather feature yesterday at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers when I noticed this lady walking with her humorous umbrella. To me the image screams “Enough Already!” The photo ran on the front of the Rogers Morning News today. I hope our readers enjoyed it and it raised a smile or two.