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This is the overall pattern heading into the upcoming weekend. Numerous rounds of showers and thunderstorms will be possible as the overall flow in the upper levels is parallel to the stationary front waffling across the area.

Flash Flood Risk Continues

Flash Flood Risk Continues

Some of the heaviest recent rains have been in Benton County. This is why a Flash Flood Watch has been issued.

The main threat with all of the storms will be heavy rainfall followed by strong winds.

Flash Flood Risk Continues

Flash Flood Risk Continues

More locations could be added to this watch depending on where the heaviest rain sets up tonight into Friday morning.

Generally… the highest damaging wind risk will be with daytime heating in the afternoon… and the highest flash flood threat will be overnight and into the morning.

-Garrett

The extreme heat continues for Wednesday with highs well into the 90s and heat index values well over 105 degrees later in the afternoon. There will be a chance for an isolated storm this afternoon as the overall high pressure system breaks down.

VIDEO FORECAST

WEDNESDAY FORECAST

Morning:  70s & 80s, Mostly Sunny

Afternoon 90s & 100s, Isolated Storms

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Wednesday Expected Highs

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Wednesday Expected Highs

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

A mix of heat advisories and excessive heat warnings will go into effect this afternoon as heat index values breach the century mark.

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

There will be a chance for an isolated shower especially after 3PM Wednesday.  A brief storm will help cool down temperatures by 10-15 degrees.

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

LOOKING AHEAD

A once strong high pressure system will be weakening and moving west the next few days, allowing the storm track to dip south over Arkansas and Oklahoma. Thus, our isolated storm chance will go up through the weekend.

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

Extreme Heat With Isolated Storm Relief

-Matt

A weak upper-level disturbance will be arriving into Arkansas and Oklahoma for the second half of the weekend, sparking a better chance for a shower or storm. Lots of sunshine is expected for Sunday, but by the evening, storms forming towards the north will dive south, possibly impacting Northwest Arkansas and eventually the River Valley after Sunday’s sunset. Some could be severe but they should be weakening as they arrive.

VIDEO FORECAST

SUNDAY FORECAST

It will be hot and humid with temperatures well into the 90s and heat index values over 100 degrees. An isolated sprinkle is possible in the morning but after sunset a round of storms is possible to move in from the north. These will weaken into early Monday morning.

Storms Return Late Sunday

Storms Return Late Sunday

The humidity will be slightly higher throughout Sunday.

Storms Return Late Sunday

Storms Return Late Sunday

A Level 1 Severe Risk (Marginal) is in place for Sunday night mainly for eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas. The extreme northwestern portion of Benton County is under a Level 2 Severe Risk (Slight). The main threats will be gusty winds and hail.

Storms Return Late Sunday

Storms Return Late Sunday

The most potent round of storms will most likely be late Sunday and into early Monday morning.

Storms Return Late Sunday

Storms Return Late Sunday

UPCOMING WEEK RAIN CHANCES

A weak disturbance swings through Wednesday with more rounds of isolated showers and storms by the weekend.

Storms Return Late Sunday

Storms Return Late Sunday

-Matt

GOP leaders fear Bishop loss to McCready in North Carolina special election

The Republican Party is hitting the panic button and pouring money into a special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

Republicans have held the seat since 1963, but four weeks out, this year’s race is a dead heat, according to GOP insiders who fear President Trump’s party will suffer a major embarrassment if they lose the first test of the 2020 cycle.

Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District, which stretches across south-central North Carolina from Charlotte to Fayetteville.

The special election is a do-over of last year’s midterm contest in which Republican Mark Harris beat Mr. McCready by 905 votes but the results were scratched because of absentee ballot fraud linked to the Harris campaign.

Following the high drama of the election scandal, both sides say voters have tuned out the summer campaigns and extremely low turnout expected for the Sept. 10 special election make the outcome a crapshoot.



Democrats are licking their chops about winning a district Mr. Trump carried by 11 points in 2016.

“If Dan McCready wins that election, Republicans will be running scared across the country,” said Thomas Mills, a Democratic strategist and commentator in North Carolina.

North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley described Mr. Bishop as playing catch-up in the race but voiced optimism he would win.

“Despite the fact that Dan McCready has been campaigning for almost three years, the polls are tied and Dan Bishop has all the momentum in this race,” he said. “With dozens of events and a solid ground game in place over the next four weeks, we see the district staying Republican.”

Mr. Bishop gained national prominence as the author of the state’s “bathroom bill” that required people to use the public restrooms corresponding with their biological sex. The 2016 law touched off protests and boycotts of North Carolina before it was repealed a year later as part of a bipartisan deal.

Mr. Bishop beat nine other Republicans in the May 14 primary. Mr. Harris did not run.

The prospect of extremely low turnout has shaped the race. A veteran state GOP operative said the turnout likely will look like a municipal election.

“Low turnout elections are always unique and a lot of it is fought out on the ground. So it is a real slugfest,” the GOP operative said.

Eyeing turnout, Mr. Bishop is playing strictly to the GOP base with a pro-Trump message. He is promising to fight “crazy liberal clowns” in Washington.

Mr. McCready, a Marine veteran, is running a replay of the midterm race with a focus on health care reform, the same message that helped get enough moderate Democrats elected last year to take control of the House.

He is also avoiding attacks on Mr. Trump that could energize his opponent’s supporters.

“This campaign is for the people who bring us together and put country before political party and fight for people again instead of this broken partisan politics,” Mr. McCready said at a candidate forum Monday hosted by the NAACP branch in Fayetteville, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Mr. Bishop did not attend the forum. Mr. McCready was joined on stage at the forum by Libertarian Jeff Scott and Green Party candidate Allen Smith, who will be on the ballot next month.

In recent weeks, two GOP groups poured $4 million into TV ads to boost Mr. Bishop. The National Republican Congressional Committee bought $2.6 million our air time. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC linked to House Republican leadership, ponied up $1.2 million for TV ads, with more spending to come.

The outside spending by Republican groups has helped make up for Mr. McCready out-fundraising Mr. Bishop $3.2 million to $1.2 million.

Democratic groups such as Stand Up Republic, an anti-Trump super PAC, also have been putting money into the race.

The biggest spender behind Mr. McCready has been the Environmental Defense Action Fund and its super PAC, EDF Action Votes, spending a combined $586,000, according to a report by Open Secrets.

Democratic committees also are funneling money into a get-out-the-vote effort.

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AP: States boost flood protection amid high disaster costs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – After devastating flooding this year, Iowa put $15 million into a special fund to help local governments recover and guard against future floods. Missouri allotted more money to fight rising waters, including $2 million to help buy a moveable floodwall for a historic Mississippi River town that’s faced flooding in all but one of the past 20 years.

In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $10 million to repair damaged levees while creating a task force to study a system that in some places has fallen into disrepair though years of neglect.

The states’ efforts may turn out to be only down payments on what is shaping up as a long-term battle against floods, which are forecast to become more frequent and destructive as global temperatures rise.

“What is going on in the country right now is that we are having basically an awakening to the necessity and importance of waterway infrastructure,” said Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican who has been pushing to improve the state’s levees.

The movement is motivated not just by this year’s major floods in the Midwest, but by more than a decade of repeated flooding from intense storms such as Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 60 inches of rain on southeastern Texas in 2017. In November, Texas voters will decide whether to create a constitutionally dedicated fund for flood-control projects, jump-started with $793 million from state savings.



For years, states have relied heavily on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay the bulk of recovery efforts for damaged public infrastructure. While that remains the case, more states have been debating ways to supplement federal dollars with their own money dedicated not just to rebuilding but also to avoiding future flood damage. Those efforts may include relocating homes , elevating roads and bridges, strengthening levees and creating natural wetlands that could divert floodwaters from the places where people live and work.

“There are states who are realizing that they have an obligation to step up here, that flooding is really a state and local problem, and the federal taxpayer is not going to totally bail us out. We need to be thinking ahead and helping ourselves,” said Larry Larson, a former director and senior policy adviser for the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

Although President Donald Trump has expressed doubt about climate change, even calling it a hoax, a National Climate Assessment released last year by the White House warned that natural disasters in the U.S. are worsening because of global warming. The report cited a growing frequency and intensity of storms, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.

Instead of pointing at climate change, governors and lawmakers in some Midwestern states have blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for worsening floods by the way it manages water along its network of dams.

Preliminary assessments compiled by The Associated Press have identified about $1.2 billion in damage to roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and other public infrastructure in 24 states from the floods, storms and tornadoes that occurred during the first half of 2019. Those states also have incurred costs of about $175 million in emergency response efforts and debris cleanup.

In addition, an AP survey of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts found that this year’s floodwaters breached levees in about 250 locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Some levees crumbled in multiple spots, including one near Missouri’s capital city that inundated the airport. When it’s rebuilt, the floor of a new airport terminal will have to be 11 feet higher to meet federal flood-plain regulations, said Jefferson City Public Works Director Matt Morasch.

The Army Corps estimates that levee repairs could top $1 billion in the Missouri River basin, where most of the breaches occurred.

The nation’s disaster costs for public infrastructure will undoubtedly rise throughout the year. The Army Corps has yet to inspect all the damaged levees, officials in Illinois, Louisiana and elsewhere are still assessing damage to their flooded infrastructure, and the annual hurricane season is just getting underway.

Beyond that, the AP’s preliminary figures do not include damage caused by wildfires, which have become increasingly destructive in Western states.

The AP’s research shows that Nebraska was one of the states hardest hit by the flooding, with a preliminary assessment of about $435 million in damage to roads, bridges, utilities and other public infrastructure from a March storm . Rain fell on a still frozen terrain, causing a sudden snow melt that sent huge chunks of ice barreling down swollen rivers.

Nebraska has a regional network of Natural Resource Districts that could direct local money toward flood protection. Like most states, it also budgets money to pay the state’s share of FEMA disaster recovery projects, and the state plans to hire a contractor to help develop a long-term recovery plan.

But until now, the state has not had a coordinated strategy for taking steps to reduce flooding risks, said Bryan Tuma, who leads the daily operations of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

Only a few Midwestern states have pumped much of their own money into flood prevention.

Minnesota created a grant program in 1987 that has since awarded almost $525 million to local projects.

After extensive flooding in 2011, Iowa launched a unique program that lets local governments keep a portion of their growth in state sales tax revenue to help finance levees, floodwalls and other projects designed to hold back rising waters. The state expects to forgo nearly $600 million of revenue over 20 years to help pay for nearly $1.4 billion of projects in 10 cities. But applications for that program closed several years ago, leading Iowa legislators this year to put $15 million into a separate fund to pay for flood prevention and recovery.

“As a state and, I think as a nation, we’re finally starting to get there – recognizing that making an investment in mitigation pays off in itself over the course of time,” said John Benson, chief of staff for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

In Texas, the proposed constitutional amendment creating a $793 million flood infrastructure fund is part of a broader package. Among other things, lawmakers appropriated $638 million to help local governments pay their share of FEMA recovery and flood-protection projects, and $47 million to update or develop flood-risk maps.

Sponsoring Rep. Dade Phelan, a Republican whose district was swamped by Hurricane Harvey, said too many cities, counties and drainage districts have been going it alone instead of working together on regional flood-management plans. The scattered approach has resulted in “roads that act like dams” and neighborhoods built in flood zones, he said.

“There’s never been an opportunity like there is now to have everyone sit down and do a cooperative, holistic approach to flooding in a particular watershed,” Phelan said.

In Arkansas, Rapert began pursuing better levee policies four years ago, after flooding on his farmland along the Arkansas River.

The lawmaker discovered that the nearby levee hadn’t been repaired after a 1990 breach and that its governing board was defunct. So he sponsored a law allowing local officials to re-establish dormant levee boards and requiring annual reports to be sent to the state. Although Rapert’s local levee got fixed, he said most of the districts haven’t filed reports, raising questions about whether their levees are being maintained.

“Until there’s a flood, nobody really cares about levees. But when there’s a flood, everybody’s worried about them,” said Jason Trantina, a farmer and convenience store owner near Conway, Arkansas, who was appointed president of Rapert’s local levee district when it was re-formed.

The improved levee worked this year, until it was finally overtopped by floodwaters that swamped Trantina’s business.

Like his counterpart in Arkansas, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also has appointed a task force to examine the state’s levee system, explore ways of better managing flood waters and prioritize state funding for flood recovery.

Parson also signed a budget that includes $2 million for a moveable floodwall in Clarksville, a rural community of about 450 with a 19th century downtown that has been fighting an annual battle against the Mississippi River. After selling the town’s visitor center to finance flood-fighting efforts, the town is again short on money and still needs additional grants to buy the $4.5 million floodwall.

“We have spent and spent and spent money that we don’t have trying to defend against the flood,” Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said. “In my judgment, this is the answer to the survival of this town.”

___

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AP: States boost flood prevention as damage costs soar

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – After devastating flooding this year, Iowa put $15 million into a special fund to help local governments recover and guard against future floods. Missouri allotted more money to fight rising waters, including $2 million to help buy a moveable floodwall for a historic Mississippi River town that’s faced flooding in all but one of the past 20 years.

In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $10 million to repair damaged levees while creating a task force to study a system that in some places has fallen into disrepair.

The states’ efforts may turn out to be only down payments on what is shaping up as a long-term battle against floods, which are forecast to become more frequent and destructive as global temperatures rise.

“What is going on in the country right now is that we are having basically an awakening to the necessity and importance of waterway infrastructure,” said Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican who has been pushing to improve the state’s levees.

The movement is motivated not just by this year’s major floods in the Midwest, but by more than a decade of repeated flooding from intense storms such as Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 60 inches of rain on southeastern Texas in 2017. In November, Texas voters will decide whether to create a constitutionally dedicated fund for flood-control projects, jump-started with $793 million from state savings.



For years, states have relied heavily on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay the bulk of recovery efforts for damaged public infrastructure. While that remains the case, more states have been debating ways to supplement federal dollars with their own money dedicated not just to rebuilding but also to avoiding future flood damage .

Although President Donald Trump has expressed doubt about climate change, even calling it a hoax, a National Climate Assessment released last year by the White House warned that natural disasters in the U.S. are worsening because of global warming. The report cited a growing frequency and intensity of storms, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.

Preliminary assessments compiled by The Associated Press have identified about $1.2 billion in damage to roads, bridges, buildings, utilities and other public infrastructure in 23 states from the floods, storms and tornadoes that occurred during the first half of 2019. Those states also have incurred costs of more than $170 million in emergency response efforts and debris cleanup.

In addition, an AP survey of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts found that this year’s floodwaters breached levees in about 250 locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The Army Corps estimates that levee repairs could top $1 billion in the Missouri River basin, where most of the breaches occurred.

The AP’s research shows that Nebraska was one of the hardest hit states, with a preliminary assessment of about $435 million in damage to roads, bridges, utilities and other public infrastructure from a March storm . Rain fell on a still frozen terrain, causing a sudden snow melt that sent huge chunks of ice barreling down swollen rivers.

Nebraska has a regional network of Natural Resource Districts that could direct local money toward flood protection. Like most states, it also budgets money to pay the state’s share of FEMA disaster recovery projects, and the state plans to hire a contractor to help develop a long-term recovery plan.

But until now, the state has not had a coordinated strategy for taking steps to reduce flooding risks, said Bryan Tuma, who leads the daily operations of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

Only a few Midwestern states have pumped much of their own money into flood prevention.

Minnesota created a grant program in 1987 that has since awarded almost $525 million to local projects.

After extensive flooding in 2011, Iowa launched a unique program that lets local governments keep a portion of their growth in state sales tax revenue to help finance levees, floodwalls other projects designed to hold back rising waters. The state expects to forgo nearly $600 million of revenue over 20 years to help pay for nearly $1.4 billion of projects in 10 cities. But applications for that program closed several years ago, leading Iowa legislators this year to put $15 million into a separate fund to pay for flood prevention and recovery.

Governors in Missouri and Arkansas both have appointed task forces to examine levee systems. The Missouri budget also includes $2 million for a moveable floodwall in Clarksville, a rural community of about 450 with a 19th century downtown that has been fighting an annual battle against the Mississippi River.

In Arkansas, Rapert began pursuing better levee policies four years ago, after flooding on his farmland along the Arkansas River.

The lawmaker discovered that the nearby levee hadn’t been repaired after a 1990 breach and that its governing board was defunct. So he sponsored a law allowing local officials to re-establish dormant levee boards and requiring annual reports to be sent to the state. Although Rapert’s local levee got fixed, he said most of the districts haven’t filed reports, raising questions about whether their levees are being maintained.

“Until there’s a flood, nobody really cares about levees. But when there’s a flood, everybody’s worried about them,” said Jason Trantina, a farmer and convenience store owner near Conway, Arkansas, who was appointed president of Rapert’s local levee district when it was re-formed.

___

Follow David A. Lieb at: http://twitter.com/DavidALieb

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Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

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The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.