Eyes on the river: 2 year flooding anniversary brings caution - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Eyes on the Black River; 2 year flooding anniversary brings caution

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Flood wall surrounding Randolph County Health Department Flood wall surrounding Randolph County Health Department

 

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - There's rain in the forecast and some of the Region 8 rivers and tributaries are already high.

That's causing residents in Randolph County to keep an eye on the river levels, as this week marks the two year anniversary of the 2011 floods.

"[we're] very cautious whenever we start having rain events, especially when the rivers are full," Randolph County Judge, David Jansen told Region 8 News.

Cautious because of two major flooding events that plagued Pocahontas in 2008 and 2011. 

"That was eye opening for all of our citizens," Jansen said. "It affected almost all of our citizens."

After flooding in 2011, it was a severe drought that rocked the Black River in 2012. The river, that was nearly bone dry last summer, is starting to see river levels come back up.

According to NOAA, on April 23, the river level was at 14.02 ft. It's by far it's not the highest the river has been, but it's the highest it's been in awhile. The Black River in Pocahontas crested at 14.56 ft on April 22.

Now Randolph County residents and officials are keeping an eye on river levels and making sure plans are in place in case another major flooding event happens.

"When we get done with it, all the rain water will filter into this trap, this pit," Jansen said, explaining how the flood walls they installed at two county owned buildings will work.

"We had to relocate the Health Department over there by the courthouse and that was probably a three month event," Jansen said, recalling the 2011 floods.

Jansen said the flood walls at the Health Department and the Black River Area Development Corporation will keep them dry as well as fully operational if severe floods hit Pocahontas again.

"The rivers are full now so it depends on what happens in the next couple, three weeks. Y'know, it could come quicker since the banks are full," he said. "Any time we have a major rain event, all of our citizens are looking at it."

Region 8 News will keep an eye on river levels throughout Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri as flood season continues.

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