Cost estimates from Randolph County levee breaches revealed

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Several large holes created by rushing flood waters this spring have not been repaired in Randolph County.  A damage estimate puts the total cost to repair the damaged levee at over a million dollars.  The bidding process for the work should start next Thursday.

County Judge David Jansen says water "blew through" the levee in thirteen places, some small breeches and some very large.

"This area right here where we're standing was actually a precision leveled field that had rice already planted on it that was up and looking good," said Jansen.

Jansen said the levee protects 65,000 acres south of Pocahontas.  Because the levee is compromised he said he worries anytime it rains and constantly checks the river gauges.

"21 feet and we're going to start having water coming through these breeches and we've got to get it fixed," said Jansen.

Over two months after the water went down they are closer to getting the work done.

"We're working with the Corps of Engineers on this and FEMA and it takes time," said Jansen.

An estimate done by a private engineer puts the total cost at $1.3 million.  Judge Jansen said each hole in the levee will be treated as a separate project.

"FEMA will pay 75% of the cost of putting it back to its original state before the event happened," said Jansen.

Any improvements will have to happen later.

"We don't have time to really mitigate.  We've got to get the holes plugged," said Jansen.

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