8 Mile Creek More Than Just Water

PARAGOULD (KAIT) - Even with all the rain we've received in the past few weeks, one region 8 town has almost no flooding worries.

"I was a senior in high school. I have a picture of my car sitting in the parking lot of Paragould High School with the water up to the door handles. "

Mayor Mike Gaskill is talking about a flood in the 70's in Paragould. Flooding has been an issue for years. But now 2 years after it's update, 8 mile creek which by the way is 12 miles long, is keeping floods in check.

"With the recent rains that we had, had the creek not been dredged out like it had been that we would have severe flooding in our community.not just streets but we would have had it in homes."

The run off from the 8 mile goes to Locust Creek and eventually winds up in the St. Francis River and due in part to 8 miles design the creek helps ease flooding on the St. Francis.

Although it looks like a creek to most people the way it's designed being so wide and so deep  it acts like a kind of retention pond for flood waters.

Gaskill, "Because when the St. Francis is full it fills up Locust and that's when the retention part of this creek comes in is when it no longer flows. And that's the only time I get scared."

So has the creek solved all of Paragoulds flooding problems?

Gaskill, "Well it hasn't solved all of them, we have some low lying areas, one of them is Lake street. And that's one we've never had the answer to but we've also done some projects inside the city to alleviate so we can try to get the water quicker to the 8 mile."

With flood controls comes savings to home and business owners.

Gaskill, "And the next thing, once we get the new FEMA map done that is going to relieve people of having to pay flood insurance. "

Gaskill says there is no firm date on the update yet but it is coming.

From a simple ditch to master flood controller, the 8 mile keeps flowing along.

And technically 8 Mile Creek is now called the Francis Bland Floodway Ditch in honor of the man who was the driving force behind the modification of 8 mile