JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark.- Officials in Jefferson County say they’re keeping a close watch on the Arkansas River, and are prepared if disaster strikes.
Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson says they are “preparing for the worst, hoping for the best”.
Robinson says repairs to levees have already been completed, or will be completed by 8 p.m. Friday. According to Robinson, some of the levees were designed with some gaps, but all gaps will be filled. Robinson says he’s very confident in the repairs.
At this time, there are no known breaches in the levee system, according to the county judge.
The county judge says he’s continuing to monitor Island Harbor, Wright-Pastoria, Trulock Bay, and Reydell. Robinson says officials are going to check if all people are out of the areas of concern, and if not, he will issue a mandatory evacuation.
As of 3:25 Friday, there is an evacuation order in place, but it is not mandatory.
The county judge also noted that officials are watching the UAPB area, but that is due to drainage.
The Jefferson County judge says several homes in the Island Harbor and Wright-Pastoria areas have been damaged.
According to the manager of the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), 550 homes were damaged in the 2015-2016 flood. She says they expect all 550 homes to be impacted by this flooding.
The OEM manager also says the state has helped them with everything, and that it helps President Trump signed an emergency declaration.
The county judge says the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and police officers are patrolling the impacted areas to make sure no looting is taking place.
Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington believes if the levees hold, the city should be safe.
“We trust and pray they hold up,” Washington says.
To see the latest updates from county officials, click here.