2019 Arkansas River flood, COVID-19, oil prices impacts Port of Little Rock

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas River is running back to normal after it flooded far out of its banks in 2019. Barge traffic had to stop on the waterway that impacting the bottom line.

“We estimate about $2.1 billion was lost because of the flood last year,” said Little Rock Port Authority executive director Bryan Day. 

Day says as things were getting back to normal, the coronavirus hit.

“You throw in the impact of COVID-19, you throw in the impact of low price of oil, and some of those global issues, it’s hurt us,” Day said.

He says Arkansans have seen the effects.

“It’s impacted jobs, it’s impacted families. We’re struggling.” 

But, like the river, he says they are resilient and are staying afloat. There are other industries that are thriving at the Port of Little Rock like the upcoming Amazon facility.

“The river is struggling. The other factors are thriving. It gives us a good balance.” 

He says things aren’t back to normal yet, but they are navigating in a good direction.

“It’s hurt us. It’s impacted all of us. We’re going to be fine. We’re going to be here in 50 years. It’s going to be a tough year in 2020.”

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