Cities preparing for Harvey rainfall as a 'just in case' precaution

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - As remnants of Hurricane Harvey move north, some Region 8 cities are preparing for heavy rainfall, as a 'just in case' precaution.

Chief Operations Officer for the city of Jonesboro Ed Tanner, said members of city departments have been working together to clean out ditches and prepare for heavy rain if it comes.

"This afternoon our Street Department in coordination with our Engineer Department has tied up the loose ends of projects they are working on. And they're going to send all their personnel and we're going to canvas the city. We're going to go and inspect and make sure all of our drains, our major ditches, and other ditches are clear of obstructions and obstacles so that nothing gets caught up if there is rain," Tanner said.

Tanner said the first phone call someone should make about flooding is to 911.

"If we do get heavy rains there will be roads under water," Tanner said. "If water starts to come in your home or gets to the point it's getting ready to enter your home, 911 is the best place to start. We do have our community centers. The Parks and Recreation Department is preparing their community centers and staff that if we do have any type of flooding that, just like we've done in the past, residents will be able to go to those safe places."

Tanner said they are asking residents to be mindful of objects in their yard that could become obstructions.

"In May we had some heavy rain," Tanner said. "And we ended up having to pull one of our city garbage cans out of one of our drains and that started backing up one of our neighborhoods. So, we are also calling upon our city residents, once your trash has been picked up, make sure those types of obstructions and obstacles are secure on their property, as well."

But Jonesboro crews aren't the only ones getting ready. Street Supervisor for the city of Brookland, Billy Pirtle, said they were hard at work making sandbags for residents and businesses.

"We're expecting maybe some heavy rain. So, we're just trying to stay on top of it. We're starting out at 100, maybe 200, to be on the safe side so everybody in the neighborhood, we can always put them out, separate them out," Pirtle said.

Pirtle said they'd have sandbags in the city's shop for quick and easy access.

"We'll keep some extra over at our shop," Pirtle said. "That way we'll have them on hand already. They can come get them or more likely we'll just deliver them to them, cause that's part of it."

If you are a Brookland resident and experience flooding, call the city's "on call" line at (870) 219-4905.

You can pick up a sandbag yourself at the Brookland City Shop located at 310 Hays Street.

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