Osceola dealing with remaining water

(Source: Poinsett Rice and Grain)
(Source: Poinsett Rice and Grain)

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - Now that the Mississippi is beginning to recede, how is Osceola dealing with the water that still remains?

Pastor Gregory L. Brown, of the New Mount Pleasant Christian Worship Center, says it was a triple negative working against them. Water came into their building from the levee located about a block away.

Brown, "Most of the water came from the river that was seeping underground. Then we had a lot of continuous rain and then of course we don't have good drainage. "

The water seeped in through a seam that runs between two slabs that the church is built upon. Brown says they thought that seam had been sealed but apparently not good enough.

Brown, "We've  never flooded before, never had any problems with water before but this time it all raised up."

The church members only missed one service in their building. Fortunately their old church which is up for sale is located about a block away and the services were held there. Bishop said that the seam had been sealed up with concrete and the carpet has been cleaned and soon the tile will be reset.

The only issue was that their insurance didn't cover the damage because technically it wasn't caused by a flood.

Osceola is no stranger to high water although it has been a long time since the Mississippi has risen this high. Mayor Dickie Kennemore says you have to go back a long time.

"We had the big flood in 1927." He said. "It got within 2 feet of the top of the levee and then they added 15 feet to the top and expanded the base. "

So far the biggest impact has been to the Port of Osceola and to the Bunge docking facility located South of the main port.

Mayor Kennemore says Bunge was able to get all their grain out before the water rose.

Kennemore, "The river side that we cannot get to is all underwater and they have I think about a 5 million bushel storage over there." Kennemore says Bunge's offices are partially submerged and there is some water in the huge storage bins.

As far as the port facilities go they still remain under 3 to 4 feet of water as well.  Kennemore, "The river is down to 43 feet. So you can see it was probably under 8 or 10 feet of water."

Poinsett Rice and Grain officials told me they may be able to drive into the docks to assess damage by Monday. For now the access roads are fenced off and stiff fines are being levied against those who trespass on the levees'.

One shut down cost the city of Osceola and other towns money was the shutdown of the Plumb Point Power Plant. Water from the Mississippi is used to make the steam and the pumps and associated electrical components had to be pulled from the pump house as the river rose.

Cities that own and benefit from the plant had to go elsewhere on the grid to buy electricity which for about a week added a surcharge to electric bills. The plant was brought back on line this past Saturday.

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