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Sen. Irvin, others meet to discuss deadly Spring River sinkhole

One of the state senators that serve this area, District 18 Senator Missy Irvin, joined the Commissioner of State Land John Thurston, Fulton County Judge Darrell Zimmer, Fulton County Emergency Management, representatives from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and other agencies at the Spring River sinkhole that recently took the life of a Searcy, Ark., man. The man, 64-year-old Donald Wright, was kayaking the river when he was apparently caught in a whirlpool caused by the sinkhole located near Sadler Falls.

That part of the river has been off limits since the tragedy.

Sen. Irvin said the group met with hydro-geologist Tom Aley, with the Ozark Underground laboratory in Potem, Mo. Aley is conducting a survey of the area with a “dye tracing” technique to determine whether the present water feature is a shallow or deep flow mechanism.

Sen. Irvin said she is grateful to the Commissioner of State Lands and other agencies that have assisted Fulton County with this dangerous natural phenomenon.

“We are working together to determine the best solution for the safety of river tourists on the Spring River,” Sen. Irvin said.

Spring River whirlpool sinkhole.jpgImage via Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at


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