Residents near Jacksonport see the effects of high flood water

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Black River is currently sitting just over 33 feet. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and many of the Jacksonport Volunteer Fire Fighters are monitoring the water levels. And even with warning and preparation, some of the citizens around Jacksonport are already seeing the effects of the high water.

Friday, Charlie Epperson paddled down what was once a driveway, now several feet underwater. For the past few days, Epperson has supplied a helping-hand to citizens trying to protect their homes.

"We all got together the other night and we built a big levee around here.  When we heard the river was going to come up a little bit more so we came back and re-sand bagged it because we thought we could hold it out," said Epperson.

But when the water started to rise and the current flowed hard, the sandbags could only hold so much.

"About 7 o'clock the other morning it busted through. We were in the house when it actually broke so all the water was on the outside. But when we tried to get out of the house and open the doors the water just rushed in," said Epperson.

Harvey Sides stared across the water at the house he called home for the past 14 years.  The house that is now 4 feet underwater.

"I floated over there. It was the first time for me to see the house, and it really made you sick when you opened that door," said Sides. The patio furniture, couch, groceries, everything Sides has worked so hard for was lost.

"You live out here, and you can't get flood insurance. We're hoping FEMA will help us out a little bit, but we're going to have to replace pretty much all of our furniture down there," said Sides.

For the time being, Sides is staying with his mother-in-law Ruby Walker who lives next door. Walker is in her early 90s and has lived in her home just north of Jacksonport for years. She has never experienced this kind of flooding. "Well it's the worst I've ever seen it, and I've lived here seventy years," said Walker.

But with more rain expected this weekend, Sides is concerned about what the future and sandbags will hold.

"Right now she's on dry ground, but we don't know for how long. We got sub-pumps here on the ground trying to pump the water back over the bags," said Sides.

Sides says it could take nearly a month for the water to go down completely. He fears with all the water damage the house will be unlivable.

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