Patching Up The Levee

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) -  Currently crews are still working to try and make way for a temporary dam in the Black River.

Since early Friday morning, trucks have rolled in one by one carrying loads of rock to help level up the area where the dam will be placed.

The Army Corps of Engineers brought in the portable dam unit which will be filled with sand and used as a wall to patch up a breach.

"We are going to place it in front of the existing levee.  When the water rises, it should block the water from flowing through the existing breach in the levee," said Elmo Webb with the Corps of Engineers.

We're told as far as fixing the entire levee, it can be done, but will take a lot of time and money.

"First we've got to get the levee district back up and running, and then come in here and do some maintenance on the levee, get the trees off of it," said Webb.

And while the temporary dam will fix some of the smaller levee breaches, upstream a large breach has water still rushing into farm land.

Farmers like Michael Ellis say the fears probably won't subside any time soon.

"Until it's fixed, it's going to be a major concern for the farmers in this area, as well as East Pocahontas...Black River College and the Imperial Theatre," said Ellis.

With water still rushing through the breach in the levee, farm land is now looking more like quicksand.

Quorum Court member Dale Morris says when waters do recede action must be take on the levee system.

"This is an unusual deal, but we sure don't want it happening again.  It's been to expensive already to take the chance of it happening again," said Morris.

And should somewhere down the line a vote be in store to get a new levee district up and running, those who've been flooded out will remember this.

"If you have a levee, you need to keep it up and in shape.  This is what happened because it wasn't maintained.  It's all a lack of maintenance," said Ellis.

That lack of maintenance is now leaving crews working to patch up a problem, only temporarily.

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