Lunsford community fights floodwater amid down pour

LUNDSFORD, AR (KAIT) - Anthony Brown says he is watching floodwaters rise at his home off Highway 69 near the Lundsford Community.

Brown, "It floods pretty often just about every time it rains."

According to Brown, his yard floods if an inch falls. Brown said about 5 feet of water has collected in the drainage ditch in his yard, and it has began to seep into his garage. But he's not sure what causes it.

Brown, "It comes from the South it, comes from the county line, Poinsett county to Craighead county line here. Comes South this way, comes North actually."

Brown says he and neighbors are getting frustrated with nothing being done. He says he has made repeated calls to get something done about the drainage ditches that regularly overflow when it rains.

I stood in the water in Brown's yard. It was about a foot deep where I was standing and he actually has a drainage ditch that was right behind me but I wasn't going to go step in it

Brown, "You walk in my front ditch and it would be up to my neck."

The water has backed up all the way into town. Several houses on the West side of highway 69 already have water up to their foundations. I drove South to see what may be causing this back flow. It was hard to see drainage ditches flowing at all. One ditch had a leather couch sitting in the middle of it. Normally that would act as a dam but there really wasn't any current evident.

Brown says the land is flat and some farmers have made changes in the ditches around the town.

Brown, "Couple of seep ditches have been filled in by the farmers. I understand they got to make a living but can't flood out the residents draining out the water into the roadside ditches that cant basically handle the depth of the water."

One field had been leveled and it's banks were higher than the surrounding fields. Was it  possible that this field edge is sending the water back?

Brown says that the highway department needs to look at it while it is flooded.

"I've called the Craighead County Highway Department, I've called them several times and they finally did get back with me after several calls but he didn't think there was anything really that they could do.

With no elected officials,  the little town is fairly helpless an un-represented.

Brown, "We have no mayor, no council or anything like that. I think we have a population maybe between 70 and 80 people. There's no where to turn to and no where to go actually.

Brown says he feels very frustrated for his community. "Since we live so far out the end of the county I think we're just turned a blind eye to I guess."

I spoke with both the Craighead County Highway Department and they said 69 was a state highway. I then spoke with Brad Smithee with AHTD out of Paragould. Smithee said that the Craighead county supervisor had indeed spoken with Brown and they had cleaned out some ditches off of 69 but basically Smithee says with that ground being so flat and farmers modifying the topography the water simply has no where to go.

Copyright KAIT 2011. All rights reserved.