Pocahontas residents begin to rebuild

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Dozens of homes in the Robil Addition have all but been destroyed by floodwaters.  It has been almost two weeks since the floodwaters from a levee breach along the black river invaded their homes.  While the water is gone from all the homes the work is far from over.

Last week most residents pulled out their furniture and personal belongings.  Now they're working on pulling out their floors, walls, and everything in between.  Getting their homes repaired and getting rid of the contents can be tricky.

"All the insulation in the walls will have to be replaced," said Joseph Alvey.

Homeowner Joseph Alvey has a big job ahead of him.

"It's mud and water in there the floors are buckling the dry wall is getting moldy," said Alvey.

Alvey is doing most of the removal work himself.

"Get the floors, this pressed board or whatever it is that looks like oatmeal, get it cleaned up off the floor so that the sub-floor can start drying out," said Alvey.

Piles of furniture, sheet rock, flooring and personal belongings line the streets in the Robil Addition as far as the eye can see.  Pocahontas Mayor Frank Bigger said there are around 60 homes in the city that have serious water damage.

Any contractor that has plans to work in the city or in the county has to register.

"You've got to be careful who you get a hold of because if somebody says something needs to be replaced that doesn't need replaced and sometimes it never gets replaced but you end up paying for it," said Alvey.

"Check with the city clerk's office and make sure that the person wanting to do that job is a registered contractor.  We have pre-screened those folks," said Bigger.

Bigger said since many are doing the work themselves the city is being more lenient.

"They can renovate for themselves.  They don't really need a permit.  In some cases permits are required but in this case no permit is required," said Bigger.

Bigger said the city and the county are working together to have one location where people can bring their damaged property.  Right now residents are being told to put it in their front yards.

"What is serious now it's not the flooding so much it is what they're going to have to live with for the next few months and few years," said Bigger.

There are a lot of people who are also removing their damaged appliances.  County Judge David Jansen said the city and county will pick those items up and sell them for scrap metal.

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