KASU

Hutchinson Tours Flood Damage

May 2, 2017

Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story (left), Governor Asa Hutchinson (middle), and Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management AJ Gary (right).
Credit Governor Asa Hutchinson's Office

7 people in Arkansas are dead as a result of flooding in the state so far, and the worst of the flooding is yet to come.  KASU’s Johnathan Reaves has more:

Governor Asa Hutchinson toured some of the hard hit areas today, which are in Randolph and Lawrence Counties.  He held a press conference in Pocahontas, where the Black River is overtaking a key levee.  Hutchinson says a historic crest of the Black River, as well as additional rain coming, is expected to make a bad situation much worse:

"We have seen how some of this flooding is already putting a lot of our citizens at significant risk and we know that rain over the next couple of days will hurt those in harms way," said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson took an aerial view of the region, starting in Sharp County and then working to Lawrence and Randolph Counties.

Major flooding events occurred in 2008 and in 2011…this year’s flooding is expected to overtake those numbers as the Black River is expected to crest well above 31 feet by the end of the week.  Hutchinson says something needs to be done to prevent future flooding events from happening.

"We need to do some studies and we have got to need to conduct an assessment of what we are doing to protect citizens to prevent this from happening again," said Hutchinson. "We know the Army Corps of Engineers has a part in this, possibly through dredging the Black River."

Governor Hutchinson has declared a state of emergency and says two units of the Arkansas National Guard have been deployed out of Jonesboro as well as the Arkansas State Police’s Mobile Command Center.