AR Governor Beebe tours flooded Pocahontas

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) -Governor Beebe landed in Pocahontas Friday morning to see the flooding first hand.  Flowing water has shut down the community for the past several days.  Right now, the water in Pocahontas is going down.  While that is bad news for those to the south it's good news for residents of Randolph County.

"It's obvious from the air that Pocahontas is cut off," said Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.

In a week filled with weather disasters Governor Beebe said the flooding in Pocahontas is one of the worst types of disasters that can happen because you don't know the extent of the damage until the water goes down.

"We need to make arrangements for a few weeks of this stuff because it's not likely to go down anytime soon," said Beebe.

The governor met with city and county leaders to look at the damage.  Water is still covering parts of homes, businesses and roads.

"We're doing assessments.  You do assessments by counties, the counties report in and then we'll undoubtedly declare a disaster for virtually the entire state," said Beebe.

He said FEMA has boots on the ground in Region 8 to assess the damage.  If and when he declares a disaster for Randolph County, Beebe said that will open the door up to the federal government to make a declaration.

"The first line of defense are our local folks: county government, city government, the sheriff, county judge, city police they're the first there on the scene," said Beebe.

Randolph County Judge David Jansen said they're watching the situation closely.

"It's basically a waiting game.  Letting the water get on out of here.  I was with the governor and he was showing me the forecast quite a bit of rain moving in this weekend," said Jansen.

He said their breeches have gotten bigger and that is putting more water on Highway 67 that is flowing into Lawrence County.

"Water is going down.  It's going to be a slow process but we'll get there," said Jansen.

Jansen said the city and county employees will be keeping a close watch on the developing situation over the weekend.

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