Region 8 Road Trip: Pocahontas after the flood

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Recent woes in Pocahontas all stem from this spring's flooding that devastated not only the town but businesses.  Some are still closed after being under water for several days and residents are in the process of recovering.

The flooding that happened in town was nothing like anyone had ever seen before.

"We have a levee system here that we thought protected pretty well the residential area that eventually got flooded," said Pocahontas Mayor Frank Bigger.

The Robil Addition had never flooded but many of the homes were under water for days.

"It has been an emotional issue.  It is very traumatic to go into your home and see water up to your shoulders and everything is destroyed or damaged or floated off," said Bigger.

Now residents, who didn't have flood insurance, are carrying the financial burden of repairing their homes.  Many of those homes may not carry the value they once held.

"I think it will have some impact.  Obviously later on with values of real estate some real estate may not be as valuable in the future as it was in the past thinking it could flood," said Bigger.

Bigger said the real threat is small because this was a once in a lifetime flood.  While some houses are being repaired, others are not.

"Those people were under water, literally under water.  Some of them were probably financially under water with the value of their home, even repaired with FEMA's help, would not bring them back up to a level where their mortgage was met," said Bigger.

Bigger said about 75% of the businesses in town are on the east side of the river.  Those that didn't have water damage were closed during the flooding because water closed the road in both directions.

"The city suffered also because our tax base sales tax.  We're going to have a shorter check coming in next month than we would have had," said Bigger.

Some businesses, like Cato's, are still closed and won't reopen for a while.

"I feel like things are coming back.  Probably not as fast as we all want them to.  Probably we want them to come when we want them everybody wants instant success, instant service instant everything but it's coming back," said Bigger.

There are several new businesses on the horizon for Pocahontas.

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