Arkansas River reaches record levels as flooding turns deadly

Historic flooding in Arkansas

Fort Smith, Ark. — Historic flooding in Arkansas turned deadly Wednesday when a 64-year-old man drowned in his van near the city of Fort Smith. The Arkansas River has reached its highest level in recorded history.

The Game and Fish Commission is patrolling the waters and brought CBS News along. One street in Fort Smith is under 5 to 8-feet and homes are still taking on water.  

"I'm not sure that we'll ever see what we saw before the flood. I think that it will change the landscapes around here. People may not come back," said Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Those who have been spared and nervously watching the levees which, for now, are still holding.

"The bad thing is it just seems to keep on raining," Stephens said.

That has people downstream preparing to leave.

Meanwhile, one of the busiest tornado seasons in years is not letting up. There are multiple reports of tornadoes in Texas, including one near the city of Canton, about 60 miles east of Dallas. There are reports of injuries and damage.

More than two dozen tornadoes were reported Tuesday, including a monster EF-4 that carved a 32 mile path of destruction across Kansas with winds up to 170 mph. At least 15 people were hurt.

When will the severe weather pattern break?