Abandoned Pocahontas homes could be condemned

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) –  It has been more than two months since flood waters came through some neighborhoods.  While many have worked to restore their homes others have not been touched at all.  Now the city is taking steps to do something about it.

"The floors are buckling and the mold is going up to the ceiling.  It's just really bad inside," said Pocahontas Fire Chief Scott Baltz.

Baltz said he has already started taking a look inside some of the abandoned homes.

"We have about six homes over here that have not been touched and the folks have just walked away from them," said Baltz.

The condition of those homes has led the city to start the condemnation process on some of the properties.

"They're basically a liability for the property owner and the people around them," said Baltz.

"I don't think the people realize how bad it is here because the mosquito's are getting bad there are snakes coming out of the yards," said Richard Hackworth.

Hackworth lives off of Scott Street in the Robil Addition.  He is ready to see more changes happen in his neighborhood.

"It needs to be done and it should have been done a long time ago," said Hackworth.

In addition to the homes, many of the yards haven't been mowed in months.

"There was about 18 yards over here.  Some of the folks that are still here have been busy working on their houses and we've been trying to give them a little bit of lead way," said Baltz.

To get the ball rolling notices like this one were posted earlier this week.  Baltz said it's like walking a tightrope in this neighborhood because different neighbors are coming from different sides of the problem.

"Some of the complainers didn't have any flood damage and we respect their wishes too," said Baltz.

The process to condemn a home takes a long time.

"Being able to find out exactly who owns it is not an easy chore with everything else that is going on," said Baltz.

Back in January the city adopted Jonesboro's ordinance for condemning properties.  Baltz said that should make the process easier for the city.

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