As flood waters continue to rise in Yell County, an Arkansas National Guard crew is on standby in the area ready helping homeowners prepare for the flood.
‘“The water level is rising from day to day. It’s been an obvious change,” Lieutenant Austin McGee with the Arkansas National Guard said.
With those flood waters rising swiftly, Lt. McGee said there are multiple teams on standby along the River preparing for the river to crest. One team even delivering sandbags by air.
“Some of our Blackhawk units have been dealing with sandbags,” Lt. McGee said.
Lieutenant McGee said part of those flooding preparations also include making sure there’s an evacuation plan in order.
“We do drive around the community and making sure that there is no blocked roadways so in order to be prepared we have different avenues to get to the people who need us and alternate locations,” Lt. McGee said.
Until the river crests, guardsmen said they are keeping a close eye on the water levels. They’re identifying problem spots, helping fill up sandbags and delivering them to the people who live in those areas so they can protect their property.
One major area of concern is a levee near the Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, and although the Arkansas national guards won’t be leading rescue operations, they’re ready to help.
“If that levee was to be breached, being that the citizens are having flooding in their homes can’t evacuate, we are on standby for high water rescues and also evacuation to take them to local community centers,” Lt. McGee said.
There is no timeline for how long these crews will be in place, but they said they won’t leave until they know everyone is safe.
“It will just be a round robin, moving back and forth transporting citizens until we are requested elsewhere,” Lt. McGee said.
They said until then, they’re happy to be helping a community that has been so kind to them.
“They have given our soldiers a lot of support and have really welcomed us here and we appreciate that and want them to know,” Lt. McGee said.