July 11, 2005 - Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT
Jonesboro, AR - Region Eight farmland, roadways and construction sites were missing one thing Monday – the people.
Leona Settlemoir owns less than 50 acres of farmland in Paragould, but her employment policy was the same as the larger operations. She gave her workers the day off. "There's nothing to do now, and there won't be anything to do as far as I know. Of course, I'm no farmer," says Settlemoir.
On the north side of town, orange cones and barrels stood alone, and roadwork was halted. The downside for drivers is that rain can set back road projects for a whole week. Joe Barnett, with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, says many maintenance activities will be put on hold. "We can't mow grass on days like this. So, there are some negatives to a rain like this in the highway business."
Outdoor workers also got some much needed time off. "I'm sure some of the construction crews who have been working many long hours, many days, are tickled to death to have the day off," says Barnett. Farmers were among those relieved to have a day off and thankful to see the rain. "Oh, I think it's a blessing, so far, if it doesn't keep on coming," says Settlemoir.