Search and rescue crews are looking for a man who may have drowned while swimming in flood swollen waters Monday afternoon.
Near Rudy, the search continued Tuesday morning for a 19-year-old man who is thought to have slipped into a swift current near a swimming hole called "Old Grotto" in Frog Bayou.
According to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, the call for a man missing in the flooded creek came in at 3:20 p.m. Monday. The man was swimming with two others when he went under and never resurfaced.
Search and rescue team members are walking the bank and area where he went under the water, Crawford County Emergency Management Director Dennis Gilstrap said.
Storms traveling through Saturday and Sunday night caused heavy rainfall and flooding, though Crawford County avoided much of the damage caused to surrounding areas
While flash flood warnings remained in effect through Wednesday for the Arkansas River and Lee Creek in Van Buren, and through Tuesday for the Mulberry River near Mulberry, most roads and bridges in Crawford County were passable, county officials said.
Some roads and bridges had areas washed out, but remained open and passable, said Crawford County Judge John Hall.
"Overall, our roads held up real well," Hall said. "We got some damage, but it’s not devastating, and in a week or two we’ll have it fixed."
It will take about two weeks and about $50,000 to get the roads back in top shape, Hall said, including man hours and costs for gravel and asphalt.
As of 10 a.m. Monday, there had been no reports of major damages, Gilstrap said, but cautioned against driving across low bridges.
"Our low-water bridges, most of them would be dangerous to cross right now," Gilstrap said.
By 2 p.m. Monday, Hall said only three bridges remained covered by rushing water - Lancaster Bridge south of Mountainburg, Ash Drive north of Mountainburg and a bridge on Rodeo Crossing West in Natural Dam.
Some areas of Crawford County received up to 11 inches of rain during the weekend, Hall said.
Road crews were out in the county Monday surveying the area, but had neither seen nor received calls regarding impassable roads.
"We have to depend on the public to let us know," Hall said. "If we don’t get a call, we assume they’re passable."
County roads weathered the storms well because of their good condition before the rainfall and improvements made during the past several years, Hall said.
Franklin County was hit hard by the storms, with damaged roads and at least seven water rescues since Saturday, according to reports. County officials have called for a state of emergency in hopes of receiving state or federal funding to help with repairs and cleanup.
According to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, another round of thunderstorms are expected to hit the area beginning Wednesday and continue through Friday.