Pumping Water Out; Preparing for More Rain

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -- Over the past several weeks the standing water in Region 8 has gone up and down.  With more rain on the way, Jackson County is taking drastic steps including closing down a major highway to try to slow the flooding in the area.

Highway 69 is closed through a part of Jackson County.  The reason for the closure is that the water is rising and something has to be done.  Now, the hum of huge pumps fills the air as workers with the Corps of Engineers work to get the water out of the ditches and roads.

"We've got a road that's fixing to go under water and it could cut us off completely again so we're trying to give everyone a little more relief," said Jackson County Judge Kerry Tharpe.

Tharpe said they are working with the Corps of Engineers to get the water pumped out.

"We're basically pulling water from the Jacksonport area, Campbell Station, and Diaz and pumping it over into the river," said Judge Tharpe.

More pumps are being added.  Another pump was added early Wednesday afternoon.  Two of the pumps are pumping water out at 14,000 gallons a minute and they are two of ten that will be going by the end of the day on Wednesday.  The Corps tells Region 8 News for every acre with a foot of water on it, that is one million gallons of water.  While this water is going into the river, they say it won't affect the river.

"The water is level is at 28 feet right now and the water we're pumping isn't going to effect that at all," said Resident Jerry Bowen.

"This water here is what we're concerned with.  It's actually causing people to worry if they're going to have to leave their houses," said Tharpe.

Now, with more rain on the way, things aren't looking up for residents here.

"They're talking more rain and that's always a concern when you're already pumping water off people.  We're just going to have to wait and see what happens," said Tharpe.