Work continues on Black River levee as rains continue

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The rains that continued Friday did not deter work crews from adding sandbags and continuing to patch a hole near Hog Pen Curve as more rain was expected over the weekend.

The area levee board, Randolph County Judge David Jansen, Lawrence County Judge John Thomison and officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visited the levee Friday to see work being completed on the project.

Crews have worked since Thursday to shore up the Black River Levee ahead of heavy rainfall.

Crews began Thursday sandbagging the levee as a precautionary measure.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not built the levee back to its original state since major flooding hit Randolph County in May 2017.

Crews from Randolph County, Lawrence County, Army Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Valley Authority worked to get the levee prepared for the heavy rainfall.

Jansen said along with sandbagging crews also worked to patch up a hole on the end of the levee.

He said he didn't want to alarm residents, and everything is being done as a precaution should heavy rainfall cause issues.

"We've fought this battle and fought this battle," he said. "So, I'm trying to be proactive and making sure we're ready."

A local levee board official said the work has been difficult, both in time and in work.

"We just hope that we get it done in the length of time that we've got," Danny Ellis, the chairman of the Running Water Levee District said. "Time's going to be the - it's going to be very important that we get it done in a short period of time."

County officials have been monitoring levels of the Black River, but they don't expect it to rise above 22 feet.

The work on the levee should be done by Sunday night, officials said.

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