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Hot Springs prepares for possible flooding | Weather

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Hot Springs prepares for possible flooding

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- Several pallets of sandbags are already on the streets ready for Hot Springs business owners to grab.

Public Works Operations Director Denny McPhate says he has several crews working around the city.

"To make sure we don't have any debris piled up on bridges that would cause water to back up," says McPhate.

In 1880, the city built a tunnel to cover up the Hot Springs creek that passed through downtown, but McPhate says it can't handle flash floods.

"What we've found out through studies is that tunnel will only carry through a 10 year storm event," says McPhate.

McPhate remembers the flash flood of 1990 and people being rescued. Subway supervisor Collin Ezelle wasn't here when that happened, but experienced the flood in 2008 and he's preparing an emergency plan.

"We will do whatever we can to make sure customers get in here and get out accordingly and we'll be prepared for anything that comes our way," says Collin Ezelle.

Since 2008, the city has installed six rain gauges. It alerts the U.S. Geological Survey, city officials, and citizens of high waters. McPhate says Entergy is also helping out the city by lowering the waters at Lake Catherine and Lake Hamilton.