Local state of emergency declared in Howard County


HOWARD COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Officials in Nashville have declared a local state of emergency after heavy rain ravaged the area on Tuesday. 

City infrastructure, along with bridges and roads, all need repair. On Wednesday, road crews worked to replace a large culvert that high water washed away, trapping at least one family in their home on Bray Hill Road. “We had two places where the citizens were cut plum off, they couldn’t even get out, so we’re trying to those fixed this morning, said Howard County Judge Kevin Smith. 

Smith said there are 16 roads in the county that continue to be closed on Wednesday. He’s working to get damage estimates to turn in to state and federal officials in hopes of getting some disaster assistance. He said neither the county nor the city has ever had flood insurance. “It’s just one of those things you don’t ever think you’ll need … but this declaration should take care of that for us,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, the cleanup continues at the district court and the police department in Nashville.  “It’s totaled, I mean everything. Our police department, all their computers … all the walls are swelling,” said Nashville Mayor Billy Ray Jones. Jones said business will continue in other locations around town. 

Next door at the sheriff’s department, water is being swept outside. Sheriff Brian McJunkins said the jail received less than two inches of water and relocated inmates are expected to return next week. 

Officials ask for patience as they work to help the area recover from mother nature’s wrath. “How bad it’s gonna be at the end and how bad the numbers will be is yet to be seen, but we’ll get past this and we’re gonna make it work,” said Jones.

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