Judge urges residents to make up mind on evacuating quickly

Judge urges residents to make up mind on evacuating quickly
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - As the water begins to recede in Pocahontas, it is flowing south into Lawrence County.

Highway 63 at Portia closed before noon on Wednesday as water started flowing across the road.

Lawrence County Judge John Thomison started warning people in Coffman, Portia, and Clover Bend areas to evacuate on Wednesday.

Thomison said many thought since they were safe during the 2011 flood, they would be okay this time, but they was not the case.

The water is expected to be three to four feet higher than it was six years ago.

"And we would urge them to think about this, make their decisions rather quickly," Thomison said. "We are in rescue mode. But there can come a time when we can't come to them. So we need folks to really assess their situations, make their decisions."

People in Portia can drive into Black Rock, where a shelter is opened at the school.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Yates said the Lawrence County Dive Team had to rescue two people from home on Wednesday. One was a woman who lived outside of Portia.

Yates said his deputies and dive team members are on both sides of the Black River ready to make those rescues but would prefer people to heed the warnings.

"They need to get out in a hurry," Yates said. "Don't stay and wait and think it's not gonna happen because it's gonna happen."

The dive team have made 14 rescues in the last two days. Many of those were drivers who did not realize how deep the waters were.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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