Final road reopens in Randolph County

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The flood waters that rolled through Randolph County destroying roads, buildings and homes a year ago will soon be just a memory.

Tuesday the final road effected by the flood waters is reopening.

Randolph County Judge David Jansen says he's thrilled to see Ator Road in Pocahontas being put back to use.

"This is the last road from the April flood that we had last year that the county if finally getting open," Jansen said. "It's been a long, hard year but this is the last road that is a main artery road for the farming community that's protected by the levee. We're getting closer now any maybe in the next couple of days it'll be open."

Randolph County farmer David Smith says he used to drive down Ator Road every day.

He says the past year has been difficult.

"We've had to go around," Smith said. "It's been inconvenient, but there's just been so many bad things happen in the last year that it just took us all a long time to get everything repaired."

Judge Jansen says they effects of the flood have been hard on everyone.

"It's been a nightmare on everybody," Jansen said. "From land owners to the county. It's been a burden, but we stuck together and got all the breeches and everything fixed on the levee. The roads are, we like opening this road and then will probably have four more mitigation projects through FEMA and then we'll be able to close out the books."

Smith says Ator Road being closed is just one of the many problems the flood waters left for him.

"It's been bad," Smith said. "We missed crop on part of this where the sand is and we've been at it for a year trying to get it cleaned off and we think we're going to get a crop in here pretty shortly if they can get done here. It looks like we're going good."

Judge Jansen says he's ready to begin moving forward instead of working on repairs.

"It feels good," Jansen said. "I guarantee it because all we've been on is defense and now, maybe by mid year, by summer or so we can go on offense and do some improvements versus just trying to get everything open again. You stay on defense when you're fighting disasters."

Judge Jansen says they'll be meeting with FEMA representatives to determine what needs to be done to prevent the roads from flooding again.

For additional information about Randolph County, log onto their website.

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