Road erosion causing problems for emergency personnel - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Road erosion causing problems for emergency personnel

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - For years, every time the White River rises it wears away the bank alongside Jackson County Road 4. Now it's so bad, county officials say something has to be done!

"Next time the White River rears it's ugly head, we're going to be dealing with it," says Office of Emergency Management Director Donny Ivie. He is talking about erosion near the community of Old Grand Glaise off Jackson County Road 4. It's been a problem he and residents have dealt with for years.

"The river comes up. The road eats out. FEMA comes in and drops thousands of dollars to temporarily repair it," says Ivie.

The erosion has gotten so bad, the bank drops more than twenty feet. There's even caution tape placed at the edge to help warn citizens. If you look over the ledge, you can see road posts and pieces of the road that have sunk over the years. Ivie says the county already has a problem with flooding and, when the river rises, it could jeopardize the safety of more than 150 residents who live in the adjoining community.

"The safety of the people is my concern and when these people can't get out and they're trapped back there in high water, it's real frustrating," says Ivie.

County Judge Jeff Phillips says they have been discussing a solution with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who have proposed to either stabilize the bank, or even possibly relocate the road. But, that would require the county to pay $250,000.00. It is money Phillips says the county doesn't have.

"It's just not in the budget. So that's why we're trying to get federal dollars to help us," says Phillips.

"We wish it could have been taken care of yesterday, but we've talked with representatives from Crawford's office and Boozman's office, so that they can give us a little relief of this," says Ivie.

Ivie hopes to alleviate the problem soon. But, if the White River rises before that time, he might be forced to shut down the road.

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