Flooding Possible in Region 8 This Weekend

JANUARY 12, 2007 - Posted at 4:30 CST

JONESBORO, AR - For Jonesboro residents like Maudeline Rogers, the thought of getting several inches of rain in the coming days is frightening.

"I hope and pray we don't because that's going to mean water in my garage again," said Rogers.

Her home sits just off a concrete drainage ditch, which she says creates a problem in her back yard that's knee deep.

"That's how deep it was. And there was no place for it to go because it couldn't get out down there."

Rogers is just one of a number of residents who deal with flood waters due to problems with the city's drainage system.

And with promised rain looming ahead, the street department says it's doing all it can with the resources it has.

"We're in the process of cleaning out the ditches. This structure is stopped up and we're going to blow it out with our jet sprayer to try and open it up to prevent any flooding," said Teddy Hooton, Jonesboro's Superintendent of Streets.

But he says if we see heavy rains it could be hard to prevent rising water.

"If it's a slow steady rain we'll probably be okay. But if we get a day or two of rain and then get a downpour after the ground is already saturated, we're going to have problems, and there will probably be some areas we will have problems with," said Hooton.

But residents say, these are problems that city leaders should have been fixed long ago.

"I think they better get busy," said Rogers.  "I think they better give this priority one and get this fixed."

But that's not as easy as it sounds.  Hooton said, "One of the big problems is the city is without a city engineer right now, and that is hindering the progress on our end at the moment."

We are told that 11 engineers have been contracted out to speed along the process, but for now, residents with flooding problems may have to continue wading in high water.

"It's not something that's going to be corrected over night. It's going to take some time. I hate to say it but it could take two or three years at the pace we're going right now to get everything corrected," said Hooton.

K8's Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughn tells us Flood Watches have been issued for ALL of Region 8 and Flood Warnings have been issued for many river basins.

We are expecting 2-4 inches of rain to fall across the area, with some isolated higher amounts. Keep it tuned to KAIT. The K8 StormTEAM will monitor the situation throughout the weekend, and all of us here at K8 News will bring you the latest on any problems in the area.

Story Ideas or Comments?  E-mail Will at wcarter@kait8.com.