Craighead County Office of Emergency Management coordinator David Moore said Thursday (May 26) that the heavy rains Tuesday caused minor flooding in businesses throughout Jonesboro and major flooding to homes.
The heavy rains caused local officials to request a formal disaster declaration from the state of Arkansas, starting the process to help businesses and individuals with damages.
By 2 p.m. Thursday (May 26), Craighead County Judge Ed Hill had made the verbal declaration, said Tony Thomas, administrative assistant to Hill.
Jonesboro city and Craighead County officials met Thursday morning to review damage reports to see if the damages would meet the threshold for help. At least six inches of rain fell Tuesday afternoon in Jonesboro, clogging up traffic as motorists attempted to navigate several city streets.
Jonesboro City Communications Director Bill Campbell said Thursday that officials spent the day, getting damage reports. On Friday, city officials plan to inspect damage to streets as well as finding a way to pickup fallen limbs.
As of Thursday night, at least 75 homes in Jonesboro were damaged due to the flooding. Campbell said residents should take pictures of the damage to their homes, both inside and outside; and send the photos to the city street department or to Craighead County OEM director David Moore at email@example.com
Campbell said residents with flood insurance should also send photos due to the damage possibly be written off with their deductible.
Moore said his office received reports from residents Tuesday and Wednesday about flooding, with business owners reported damage Thursday. Officials are still working on a price tag for the damages, Moore said.
As for a permanent solution, a report last year from the United States Army Corps of Engineers shows a steep price tag to deal with current issues. The January 2015 report from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis showed it would take over $100 million to alleviate flooding problems throughout the west side of Jonesboro alone.
The report was sent to the city of Jonesboro and is part of a multi-phased project to deal with the flooding problems, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said Thursday (May 26).
The federal agency and local officials have been working on a four-phase study to look at flooding problems in the Lost Creek area between North Culberhouse and Patrick Streets in downtown Jonesboro, Christian Creek area near West Washington Avenue in west Jonesboro, Joe Mack Campbell park near Interstate 555 and Culberhouse Creek in west Jonesboro.