Senator John Boozman visited Judge Ray Gack and Sheriff Jason Massey on Friday, May 31 to assess and discuss the damage that Logan County received from the historic flooding of the Arkansas River.
After Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to deploy rescue teams on May 24, Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman sent in a declaration to President Donald Trump requesting that the President issue an emergency declaration for Arkansas.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance for emergency protective measures for 16 counties including Logan County.
“We are pleased with President Trump’s quick response for federal assistance to Arkansas. This declaration is critical to protecting Arkansans, preventing further damage and improving public safety,” members said.
Sheriff Massey and Judge Gack outlined the flooding areas for Senator Boozman and discussed the breach of the dam which has caused additional flooding.
“Right now the flood waters from the breach of the dam are going back into the river, and once the bottoms go down the water will eventually drain,” said Judge Gack.
Sheriff Massey said the concerning problem at the time was that there was no levee in certain areas which was causing the water to back up.
Logan County Emergency Management Coordinator Tobi Miller said that there are currently eight houses flooded and four chicken houses.
“We have been trying to keep as many people in their homes if possible as long as the conditions are safe and they still have electricity.”
Judge Gack said he felt the river had risen as much as it was going to and now the county has to wait on the water levels to subside to assess the damage.
“Right now, until the water levels go down, there is no way to assess how much damage we have received. We know that the water levels have dropped, but it could be from the water dumping into the acreage that has left the area flooded.”
Senator Boozman said that with the President signing the emergency declaration, it would ensure that money is put out in cases like the flooding.
“The money will help to protect properties and public safety.”
Boozman also said that the next step would be the cleanup efforts.
“The clean up will be a much bigger phase than the actual flooding. The flooding has made national news over the past several days. You [the county officials] will need to document everything so that the next step will be to get added declarations to provide relief.”
Boozman said that he wants to make sure the federal components run smoothly so that the county does not have a lot of hassle during the process.
“If stuff comes up, you need to lean on our office and we will be glad to help in any way we can.”
At this time Logan County has received close to 1.5 million dollars in flood damages.
“Any additional damage caused from the expected rains in the next few days will also be included in the declaration as we go further,” said Boozman.
Boozman said that he wants to be part of the team to help control the aftermath of the flooding.
“The good news is, that is the strength of Arkansas is coming together even in a big job.”