Ready to Repair Roads after Rain in Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -- Several roads all across Region 8 have been underwater for over a week.  Now some of the flood waters are starting to go down and are leaving behind damaged roads.

Jackson County Judge Kerry Tharpe has been out checking the roads on a daily basis and says while the water's going down, they won't know the extent of the damage until the water is gone.

"The longer it stands on it the water will saturate it and make it weak.  This is why we stress when there's a road underwater, do not drive on it because we don't know what kind of condition the road is in underneath," said Tharpe.

They have already had problem areas in the county on the multiple gravel roads.  The gravel has been washed off the road by the swift waters.

"It'll eat away at the bottom of it and that's what it's doing at these county roads," said Tharpe.

There are 315 county roads in Jackson County and currently 46 of those including are still underwater.        Other roads are now clear of water, but the water has left damage behind.  A layer of white chat has been laid down recently to cover a large hole that formed in the center of one county road thanks to the standing water.  The cost of the road repairs is not known at this time, but Tharpe said he hopes they will be able to get financial assistance from FEMA.

"We're hoping this is going to go straight to FEMA and we'll get a good amount of help on it.  All we've got to do is wait till the water goes down and go to work," said Tharpe.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department said the primary problem on state highways is the loss of gravel along the shoulders of the road.  While there have been a few failures in the roads those are minor.  They will wait until the water goes a little farther to assess the damage before repairs will start.