Counties, residents starting to add up costs of floods

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) Lawrence County road crews are mending gravel roads battered and washed out by recent heavy rains.

"We're going to be working straight through this weekend with our graters and trucks," said Lawrence County Judge, Dale Freeman.

Freeman says they're addressing needs on some gravel roads.

"We've got to make sure the people have got a road to come to town on just like we do on the blacktop," said Freeman.

While they wait for other roads to clear--roads still covered in water.

"When it started raining and this flood got up, I knew it was going to cost the county," said Freeman.

Exactly how much it will cost the county remains to be seen, but costs thus far are already rising.

"With fuel as high as it is, it's costing us a lot of money," said Freeman.

From fuel to manpower and overtime, Freeman says this event alone could cost the county tens of thousands of dollars, costs he hopes the county won't have to cover alone.

"We're hoping when they get here, that we can get some federal help out of them," said Freeman.

"Not only the roads and infrastructure, we've got to go out and see how many people are affected by this, how many houses still have water in them.   Then you have to  assess these people.  Do you have insurance or not? Do you have flood insurance? Are you going to be eligible for any federal aid?", said coordinator of the Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management, Steve Jones.

Freeman says at this point, he wants to make sure the roads people can drive on are safe, but many questions won't be answered until the water recedes and roads are revealed.

"We don't know exactly how bad the roads are or what it's going to cost to fix them, and that's one of my concerns right now," said Freeman.

Freeman says he expects to have some numbers by Monday that would provide a clearer picture of what has been spent so far in terms of fuel and overtime due to the flooding. He says right now around 10 county roads remain closed.

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