DES ARC, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Des Arc community, like others in the Natural State, are preparing to battle whatever flooding comes their way this season. One of the main intersections between Highway 11 and Highway 38 was severely flooded just yesterday.
Residents said they saw trees floating in the water, and County Judge Mike Skarda said the water reached up to the tail lights of his car. However, the town is no stranger to devastating floods.
“It was about the same time of the year,” said Ashley Billingsley describing the last time the town experienced massive damage. Billingsley works at a convenient store along Hwy 11.
The community is hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst. “This time it’s a lot of the same talk everybody’s worried,” she said.
“[I'm] hopeful to God that nothing bad will happen,” said Judge Skarda.
Prairie County is used to flooding in the spring, but they’re hoping it doesn’t get as bad as past years.
“We declared an emergency today through ADEM to let them know we had problems and we may need assistance,” Skarda said. He hopes Des Arc doesn’t see a repeat of 2011. “I think we lost about 240 homes in Prairie County that year along with a lot of businesses, the liquor store, the health department, and the dentist office.”
“We were pretty much trapped in Des Arc, there was no way out with the rain and flood waters gushing like they were,” said Billingsley.
She said some people are already boating in and out of their homes.
“It’s just a tragedy having to watch that kind of situation and watch them do that. It really does take a toll mentally and physically,” she added.
Billingsley and others in the community aren’t letting the what if’s slow or keep them down. Skarda has extra sand bags and gravel on hand and ready to go.
"It’’s just a really great community to be in when this situation occurs,” Billingsley said.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management predicts flooding won’t be as bad this time around. Des Arc may get 30.5 inches of over flow.
"If it does that the only thing that will be affected is agriculture. We’ve already had some people come up here that have corn crops and soy beans under water,” Skarda said.
Des Arc High School football coach, Drew Widner, has 50 boys on the team prepared to volunteer and help anyone in the area sand bag their homes if needed. There are also other youth groups in town willing to assist as well.
You can call the high school or look Coach Widner up on the Des Arc Chamber Facebook page for more information.