The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation warning for residents who live along the Arkansas River.

According to a news release issued Thursday morning, Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said residents of Island Harbor Marina, Riverside Drive and Wright-Pastoria are urged to leave their homes ahead of expected flooding.

The river is expected to crest above flood stage this weekend and will rise to 46 feet by next weekend. Flood stage in Pine Bluff is at 42 feet.

The evacuation warning comes after the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Pine Bluff-Jefferson County, including Island Harbor Marina, Riverside Drive and other areas. 

A flood watch indicates the possibility of flooding, which could become life-threatening. Flood warnings will follow in the coming days, the NWS said.

“People in the affected areas, or those who are near waterways downstream from affected areas, should be prepared to flee toward higher ground in anticipation of flood water, an evacuation notice or evidence of soil instability,” Woods said.

"People should call 9-1-1 should they see any evidence of soil instability or debris flows. In spite of warnings, we have had numerous residents remain within the areas we know all too well that are affected by flooding. Again, we stress that property can be replaced but your life cannot."

Please stay with us for more on this developing story.