New Arkansas levee task force hosts first meeting

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — “An historic flood calls for an historic response,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at the first levee task force meeting Friday.

The recent flooding damaged parts of the levee system, but what the water also revealed were weaknesses already in place.

The task force is designed to take a look at what happened, if anything could have been prevented and how it can be permanently fixed for the future.

About 25 people ranging from county judges, city mayors and representatives who have vested interests in finding solutions make up the new task force.

They were brought together to find any shortfalls in the levee system — whether physically or in maintenance and oversight.

Gov. Hutchinson started off by saying what this group of people do will have an impact on future generations of Arkansans.

“We talk about the time when they built the levees, well I want them to talk about the time when we restored the levees and we repaired the systems and got it functional again so that we can address potential floods in the future,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

He also said not every solution can be a money-based solution.

The members are tasked with working with the Army Corps of Engineers as well as regular people who are impacted by the floods path.

The final report is due to the governor by the end of the year.

He said if something comes up that needs to be addressed or changed faster they will work to accommodate it.

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