People evacuating homes ahead of predicted flooding in Jefferson County

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. – It is a race against time before mother nature knocks on so many front doors with force.

“I got a phone call on Tuesday night,” says Carl Bacon, who’s evacuating. “I’m worried about it.”

Bacon lives in Jefferson County’s Island Harbor Marina.

“We’re trying to get all our furniture and all out of the house,” says Bacon.

Bacon is not taking any chances as forecasters predict river levels that could reach homes.

“The last word we had, the water is supposed to get up like it did in 1990 and in 1990 I had eight inches of water inside my house,” says Bacon.

At last check, the National Weather Service isn’t predicting 1990 flood levels but come Monday it’s projected to be around the same flood levels as 2015 when numerous homes had standing water inside. The National Weather Service is predicting the Arkansas River will crest at 46 feet, four feet above flood stage, in Pine Bluff on June 2.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning for the Island Harbor Marina and Wright-Pastoria residents Thursday because of the potential for flooding in the area.

“People in the affected areas, or those who are near waterways downstream from affected areas, should be prepared to flee toward higher ground in anticipation of flood water, an evacuation notice or evidence of soil instability,” says Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr.

People should call 911 if they see any evidence of soil instability or debris flows.

“In spite of warnings, we have had numerous residents remain within the areas we know all too well that are affected by flooding.  Again, we stress that property can be replaced but your life cannot,” Woods said.

Fischer Woolems is helping pack up homes.

“We’re just trying to help everybody out,” says Woolems.

Woolems says multiple moving trucks have been called to the marina.

“We’re trying to get them out of here, get all their stuff saved,” says Woolems.

Bacon says he’s blessed to have the movers.

As he tries to beat the clock he prays the river level predictions are wrong.

“When we got the first flood, it took us over a year to redo everything on the inside,” says Bacon.

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