The Jackson County Judge’s Office, Office of Emergency Management, local law enforcement and fire departments are preparing Wednesday for what could be a catastrophic failure of the levee south of Hwy. 224.
On Tuesday night, Judge Jeff Phillips released a statement advising that the levee has eroded and was in danger of failure. Emergency teams were placed on standby as officials watched for any sign of failure throughout the night. “If this happens, there will be significant flooding,” Phillips said. “The water could go south toward Woodruff County first and then back up all the way to Highways 14 and 17.” The judge advised the residents in those areas to take precautions and leave. According to OEM Director Don Ivie, approximately 30 homes are in the immediate vicinity of the threat.
Judge Phillips declared an emergency late Tuesday evening so that resources could be pulled in for additional help. The Arkansas Department of Corrections has provided inmate manpower to fill sandbags for the homes in and around the threatened zone.
The White River continues to rise Wednesday, measuring 29.5 feet in Newport at 10 a.m. It is predicted to crest at 29.7 feet Thursday before it begins to fall. Flood stage is 26 feet.