River Levels Still Rising

SEPTEMBER 24, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:30 P.M. CDT

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR -- 5 different rivers meet in Randolph County and when river levels rise, problems can easily follow.

"70 percent of our hard road system has been damaged. We have 138 low water bridges in the county. Approximately half of those have been affected," says David Jansen, the Randolph County Judge.

And the problems may only get worse if the flooding continues. Judge Jansen says they are prepared to make mandatory evacuations.

"We'll use the community center if we have to evacuate. So, we have plans in place if the levee does not hold or if it comes over the levee, we will have to do some evacuations," says Jansen.

In Randolph County, when the river levels rise, many things are affected, including the farmers' crop.

"We've got 165 acre rice field that you can just barely see the very highest part of it sticking out. We don't know if we'll be able to harvest any of it or if we're looking at duck feed," says Dale Morris, who farms 3000 acres in Randolph County.

Local farmer Dale Morris also serves on the Randolph County Quorum Court and he says after checking with other farmers in the county this weekend, he feels lucky to salvage what he can.

"I've heard that some farmers that every acre they farm is under water," says Morris.

Congressman Marion Berry also toured the flooded areas, in hopes of getting some relief to those losing the majority of their crop profits.

"You know if it's ready to harvest and you've already got all your expenses in it, 2 to 250 dollars an acre expenses, besides not being able to make anything," says Morris.

Unfortunately this may not be the end to the flooding. The Black River at Pocahontas has yet to reach peak level.

Several other rivers have also yet to reach their peak levels after the weekend storms. The Cache River at Patterson has a Flood Stage of 8 feet and is set to peak Friday at 10.0. The Black River at Pocahontas has a Flood Stage of 17.9 feet and will peak on Tuesday at 21.3.

The Black River at Black Rock has a Flood Stage at 24.2 feet, and will peak Monday at 24.8 feet. While the White River at Augusta has a Flood Stage of 26 feet, and will peak this Friday at 28.4 feet.