KASU

Flooding

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More rain falling in Texas from Tropical Storm Harvey.  Houston and southeast Texas have been pounded by historic rainfall, as some areas could see up to 50-inches of rain before the rain stops.  The Arkansas Chapters of the American Red Cross are sending volunteers to Texas to help with shelter, food, and other immediate needs.  Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Dean Hannah says people have been calling his office in Jonesboro asking how to help.  Hannah says volunteering and donations of money are always the best way to help:

President Grants Gov. Hutchinson’s Request for Federal Disaster Declaration

Jun 15, 2017
Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media

LITTLE ROCK – President Trump today granted Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Arkansas as a result of damages due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding during the period of April 26 to May 19, 2017. The declaration will allow residents and governmental bodies in the affected areas0who meet certain criteria to apply for assistance.

Area Lions club gets $10,000 for flood assistance

May 18, 2017

[l-r] Pocahontas Lions Club Secretary/Treasurer David White and President Brenda White receive a $10,000 Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) check from Lions District 7-0 District Disaster Relief Chair Pat Snodgrass.Credit Charles Hartwig, District Public Relations ChairEdit | Remove

This press release comes from the Arkansas Lions Club, District 7-0:

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:

The National Weather Service says the Black River is expected to flow over a levee in Pocahontas today, forcing many in the east side of town to evacuate.  Officials say the flooding is imminent and they are expecting businesses, homes and structures to flood.  

When the river crests Friday, it is expected to be about 29.5 feet, which is well above flood stage.  It is also expected to be over a foot higher than the historic 2011 Black River flooding, which caused millions of dollars in damage and killed 14 people across the state.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

In this story, you can hear each candidate for Jonesboro Mayor talk about how they would each address future flooding. Each candidate also reveals their plans for preventing the kind of flooding that hit Jonesboro in May. Click on the Listen button to hear the story.

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The Craighead County Quorum Court is looking at how to improve drainage throughout the county.  Justices of the Peace have asked Craighead County Judge Ed Hill to look at how to make all of the drainage districts in the county to be more effective.  They say some districts work very well at raising money and using those funds to clear out ditches and work on drainage issues. 

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

    Major rain events like what happened in Jonesboro in May and most recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana will happen again.  That message came from Carl Watts.  He is with the National Flood Insurance Program Service, which works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He was in Jonesboro, presenting a program on the need for everyone to get flood insurance.  He says careful considerations should be made.

"Reevaluate your risks by finding out if your are in a special flood hazard area or not and how close are you to flood hazard areas," said Watts.  

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Public meetings about flood insurance will take place next week.  Much of Jonesboro is in a flood plain and the city experienced record flooding in late May, which damaged numerous homes.  Jonesboro is spending about $2 million dollars to clean out many miles of ditches and officials are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to help clear out Big Bay ditch, which is near the Craighead and Poinsett county lines.  This is a release from the city of Jonesboro:  

Chief Operations Officer for the city of Jonesboro L. M. Duncan has again resigned from his office.  The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harrold Perrin sent an email to department heads on Wednesday about Duncan’s departure. 

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

    

The City of Jonesboro is spending over one-and-a-half-million dollars on trying to fix drainage issues in Jonesboro.  This after record flooding in May where six inches of rain fell in a three hour time frame.   Jonesboro is dedicating full time resources to five major projects that include clearing out and stabilizing over 60 miles of ditch maintenance in the city.  However,  that work might not be enough.

City of Jonesboro

Jonesboro’s mayor says clearing out the city’s ditches will be a full time job.  The Jonesboro City Council has approved the purchase of a Caterpillar excavator and hiring two employees to the city’s street department.  Harold Perrin tells KASU news the new equipment and manpower will be clearing out and maintaining the more than 60 miles of ditches in the city that are blamed for historic flooding that occurred in May.  He says it was deemed to be more cost effective to do it this way than to bring in an outside contractor to do the work “one-time”.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Around 200 people in Craighead County have applied for state assistance after the May 24th rains that flooded significant parts of Jonesboro and Craighead County.  Most of the applicants live in Jonesboro and county officials are now in the process of visiting each applicant.  David Moore is the Director of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Services.  He tells what is going on now.

“We are processing the applications and we have someone who is doing inspections at the sites.  Applicants will be interviewed and information will be collected at this part of the process.”

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  Wednesday is the deadline for flood victims in Craighead County to apply for state assistance. 

craigheadoem.org

  Even though Craighead County has officially been declared a disaster area, a call center may not be set up in the area until sometime next week. 

Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Director David Moore told the Jonesboro Sun Monday the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management told him to expect a delay in establishing the call center. 

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  Craighead County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

The official announcement came from a press release of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management over the weekend.  Public Assistance Programs and Individual Assistance Programs have been authorized to assist eligible applicants affected by the May 24th Flood. 

City of Jonesboro

The city of Jonesboro is asking residents who have sustained damage from this week’s flooding event to contact them immediately.  City officials Thursday estimated 75 properties that sustained flood damage and are expecting the number to increase.  Reports of damage will be used to help the city receive state and federal assistance to help those affected.  

Please read the press release below for  more details on how to contact the city for assistance:

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

    Jonesboro city officials continue to assess the response after record rainfall pounded Jonesboro Tuesday night.  Over six inches of rain fell in a few hours, leading to hundreds of calls to 911, dozens of vehicles being stranded, 56 people being evacuated out of homes and led to shelter, 18 streets flooded out, and a 13-year-old boy being saved from rushing water.  In a press conference, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he has been talking with other officials about the response to Tuesday’s

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Wikipedia.org

After a line of weekend storms moving through the area, 3 rivers in the KASU listening area have been placed under a flood warning until Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports forecasters said residents of Independence, Jackson, and Lawrence counties could be affected by the flooding of the Black River at Black Rock.  Sunday morning, the river was reported to be a little over 15 feet at minor flood stage; just about 1 foot above its 14 feet flood stage.