West Memphis officials hope preventative actions halt flooding

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Dealing with massive rainfall isn't easy, and the City of West Memphis is working overtime to avoid flooding issues.

The City has used mobile water pumping stations to treat areas prone to flooding, working at full capacity to handle all the water they’ve received during the last few days.

Just like the rest of the Mid-South, West Memphis has gotten steady rainfall for the past few days, with some areas seeing up to four inches.

Thanks to forward-thinking and a system that has worked efficiently, the city has absorbed the rain with almost no difficulties.

“We look at the weather, actually, we make sure we know a big storm like this is coming on, especially with Hurricane Barry and what it could bring to the city," Mayor Marco McClendon said. "We’re just proactive and not reactive.”

Make no mistake, the city is saturated in some areas, and cautious driving has been encouraged while sewage and drainage systems work overtime. But the infrastructure has proven to be up to the task, albeit with hard work.

“When it rains like this, we gotta be out here and make sure that it doesn’t build up in the city and cause flooding in residential areas," said James Clay, with the City of West Memphis. "That’s basically why we try to get a head start on the pumps and try to keep it clear.”

Part of the avoidance process is being proactive. The City has been sending crews out with mobile water pumps to clear trouble areas before they get unmanageable for residents.

“Even though we’re having all this rain coming through, we don’t want to lose a life and lose minimal property as we could," McClendon said. "Doing the things that we’re doing is pretty much keeping that successful.”

“If the water’s down, and we accomplish our goal, and there’s no flooding in the city, it’s all good," Clay said.

These preventative techniques are working overtime to clear the city. Some machines in West Memphis are pumping between 60,000 and 70,000 gallons of water per minute to keep the city dry.

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