WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - When it comes to responding to this week's flooding, state and local officials are getting high marks from Williams Baptist College.
In a statement Thursday, WBC President Dr. Tom Jones said elected officials and law enforcement officers responded rapidly and communicated consistently with the college.
"Their timely and accurate information has helped us make crucial decision to assure the safety of our campus community while maintaining the daily operation of the college," Jones said.
He said officials from Walnut Ridge, as well as Lawrence and Randolph Counties, have all been in continual communication with the college.
"We have to offer special thanks to Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, the Walnut Ridge Police Department, and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office," Jones said. "They have been incredibly busy managing this crisis, but they have still managed to stay in constant contact with Williams to keep us informed.
Jones added that elected officials and others at the state and federal level have contacted WBC to provide assistance if needed.
Due to its elevation, the WBC campus has not been endangered by floodwaters from the Black River, according to the statement. Flooding has remained several miles from the college.
"We knew from history and local topography that Williams is situated very well to avoid flooding, but we took nothing for granted, and neither did our local officials. We have monitored this situation closely from the time it developed to assure Williams students and staff remained safe," the president said.
However, some students and employees have lost access due to flooded roadways. The college is accommodating commuter students and staff who live in areas north or west of the Black River that are cut off from campus.
"We are pleased to see the water starting to recede, and we hope it continues to do so. We look forward to having full access restored to those areas over coming days and weeks," Jones said.
Williams has continued to operate on its normal schedule, and final exams will proceed as planned starting Friday. Commencement exercises will also take place as scheduled on Saturday, May 13, starting at 10 a.m. in WBC's Southerland-Mabee Center.
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