POCAHONTAS (KAIT) A year ago this week--the waters of the swollen Black River tore through a levee in Randolph county--and washed into East Pocahontas
Now that a year has passed, what repairs have been made?
is the county more prepared? And what happened to the people who lost everything?
It was a lot dryer today than it was last year at this time in Pocahontas.
Both the county judge and the mayor say they are ready for the next one, and I visited with a family who told me last year they were leaving...turns out, they didn't.
I met Jessie Ivy last year as he was hauling all the stuff out of his house to a burn pile. They had just been able to get back into the house after 4 days and 14 inches of water had passed. Nearly every thing they had was destroyed or molded or ruined and they had no insurance. Jessie described what it was like when the levee right by their house went under.
"I was standing there on the porch they was a wall of water come across there. By the time I reached the 4-Wheeler, it was almost up to the bottom"
The water rose quickly, nearly reaching 4 feet deep.
'Right here where I'm standing right here was probably waist deep. I know it was it was up under my mail box."
A year has passed and even with all the efforts being done, other disasters have came through and work on the flood repair is still not complete.
Judge David Jansen says the county restoration is nearly complete, with a few things to finish up after the flooding.
"We still lack around 15 thousand tons of rock to be put on certain roads and we still lack 33 tiles before we can close that disaster out. "
Where the biggest breach was. The Army Corp of Engineers had to come in and put in a temporary dam.
Jansen, "And that was a lot of water coming through there. We've got some areas where roads are going over it and we'll be monitoring it, any time the water gets up."
The city has built up Pace road to act as a levee. Mayor Gary Crocker says it needs one last repair.
"About the only thing we might have to do is go in there and put a layer of blacktop on that street. It didn't have it before but we might do it to help stabilize it. "
Judge Jansen says he feels that the weakest places are fixed and stronger but nothing is perfect so he is keeping supplies at the ready.
"We got sandbags, after the water went down we put em on pallets ready to go again."
Last year the Ivy's said they were leaving, but they didn't. I asked Jessie Ivy why?
"I've lived here 50 years and this may never happen again you know. "
And you never do that's for sure.
As a result of the flooding, Judge Jansen has told me they were reinstating the levee board for the district.