by Max Brantley
UPDATE: No identities as yet, but the State Police is reporting that there have been fatalities as a result of the storm and flooding in Scott County.
Flash flooding early this morning in the Waldron area trapped people in homes and prompted rescue efforts, Channel 4 says.
UPDATE II: The news grows far worse in this updated from KFSM:
The body of Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter has been found, but a Game and Fish officer and others are still missing. He apparently drowned attempting to rescue others.
Highway 71 South from Y City to Mena remains closed Friday morning after heavy rain and severe weather Thursday night.
Eyewitnesses said families are displaced and Scott County dispatchers said swift water rescues have taken place throughout the night.
At mid-morning, officials were fearing at least three fatalities — the sheriff, the missing officer, Joel Campora, and one other unidentified body, a woman already found. Questions remain about those living in low-lying areas that led authorities there in the first place.
A National Guard helicopter worked through the day on rescues of people trapped by floodwaters.
Channel 4 put together a good video segment that shows how 3-7 inches of ran filled a valley in Scott County where the worst flooding occurred, near Y City.
Also, from Keith Stephens at the Game and Fish Commisson on officer Joel Campora:
He is 32 years old and lives in Waldron with his wife and two children. He’s been with the AGFC since 2007. He started his enforcement career with the Mena PD in 2003. At this point, it looks like the Sheriff and Joel were attempting a rescue in a house that was being flooded. It appears that they two fell in the water and were swept away. The sheriff was found about 1.5 miles downstream from Y City where the house was located. We are currently searching the area on foot and by vehicle. A helicopter has been brought in as well. The two people they were trying to rescue from the house are missing as well.
ALSO: Great story by Gavin Lesnick on the free portion of the Democrat-Gazette website about a Oden couple whose home was washed away with them in it and then hit a tree and split apart. They hung onto a tree until being rescued.
UPDATE: Gov. Mike Beebe has declared six counties disaster areas as a result of a variety of weather events — Cross, Montgomery, Poinsett, Polk, Scott and Van Buren