Update: National Guard places sandbags on damaged levee in Jackson Co.



JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. – The Arkansas National Guard is now helping people whose homes are at risk of flooding. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson today sent a helicopter to Jackson County to place sandbags on a levee that’s at risk of failing. 

Recent heavy rainfall has eroded the levee. 

The Jackson County judge says it’s a much-needed move since there wasn’t much they could do on the ground. 

“It is incredible. We are so thankful, that he is so gracious and that he cares about Arkansas and he cares about us and it’s a heartfelt thanks to the Governor of Arkansas,” says Judge Jeff Phillips.

Phillips said he thinks the sandbags should buy some time for everything to dry up. 

Original story: 

JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. – The local county judge has issued a volunteer evacuation to about 30 homes over concerns that a levee along the White River may erode and breach, causing flooding into neighboring Woodruff County. 

“This has never happened before,” says Betty Faust, who’s preparing for possible flooding. 

As time passes, she and her family and friends grab what they can out of her house. 

“Right now we’re just trying to get our personal stuff,” she says. 

Betty lives in the area where it could flood if the levee along the White River breaks. 

“I didn’t know there was anything going wrong. Last night the mayor called [and] told us about it,” she explains.

Betty is filling a U-Haul and trucks to take to higher ground. She’s one of 30 homeowners in a rural area that could be impacted if the levee breaks. 

“Public safety is number one and we want to make sure everyone is safe and everything,” says Jeff Phillips, Jackson County Judge.

Judge Phillips says he was alerted to the levee erosion last week and has since monitored it daily. 

“We got all this rain and it started washing out this levee,” he continues. 

He says it’s a waiting game and they can’t get anything out here to fix the problem. 

“There really isn’t much we can do. The ground is too saturated to get any heavy equipment back here without causing more damage then we already have,” says Judge Phillips. 

As each minute passes, waiting to see if the levee holds, Betty says she’s not taking any chances. 

“Everybody pray for us. I hope everything works out okay,” she says. 

Judge Phillips says more than $100,000 worth of repairs have been made to the levee recently but there isn’t enough vegetation to hold the ground solid. 

The Bradford Fire Department reports via Facebook that Judge Phillips has also informed the city’s mayor to caution people who live or have relatives that live on Tucker’s Ridge, especially along Jackson 4, Jackson 315 and L and D Wells Rd. to be ready to evacuate in case the levee fails and causes a rapid rise of water in the Bradford bottoms.

Crews are working to reinforce the levee with sandbags.

There are Flood Warnings in place in the area and the National Weather Service has forecast more rain for Friday and Saturday.

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