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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

More flood gauges coming soon

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jan Thompson

Staff Writer

While touring tornado damage in Sharp County in late March, U.S. State Rep. Marion Berry informed Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton that her request for additional flood warning systems has been approved.

Currently there are only two such systems in the area, at Hardy and at Mammoth Spring State Park.

Jaysson Funkhouser, an official with the U.S. Geological Survey, said the system at the park at Mammoth only measures the water level in the spring and is not very helpful to residents on down the river.

Thornton said three new systems should be installed by early spring next year.

Although Funkhouser himself had not yet received word that the three new warning systems had become a reality, he said they were needed.

"We have discussed where the three warning systems will be placed if and when they become a reality," Funkhouser said.

He said one warning system will be placed on the Myatt Creek on Highway 289. One will be placed where the South Fork and Spring River converge at Saddle and one will be placed at the Missouri/Arkansas border on the Warm Fork River.

"How these systems work is they measure rainfall amounts as well as determine stages and rises in rivers where the systems are placed. The station reads the information every 15 minutes and sends the information to the National Weather Service each hour by satellite," Funkhouser said.

He said the system will be on all the time, seven days a week.

"These warning systems work. The recent March 18 flood at Hardy showed that. The National Weather Service alerted emergency personal and were able to evacuate people along the river near Hardy and even further downstream," Funkhouser said.

He said when the potential of flooding is present along any of these water areas the system is able to give a water level update every two or three minutes. "This is going to be a great asset to the people in the Spring River area and even on down stream toward Imboden," he said.

Representatives with the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey met in Hardy with city officials and residents of the community last year to discuss the possibility of the additional warning systems up-river.

Mayor Thornton said she is thrilled that the warning systems are going to placed upstream from her city.

"Their systems are not cheap. The total cost of the project will be $130,000," she said. Thornton and Funkhouser agreed that is a small price to pay compared to a human life lost to a rising river.

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