DES ARC, Ark. (KTHV) - Volunteers from Des Arc started around 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, filling sandbags for local businesses and homes in low-lying areas.
Neighbors worked together preparing for the worst. Davis Bell, Public Information officer for Prairie County, said more than 30 volunteers are helping with the effort. Preparation is underway as bags filled with sand are stacked one by one.
"The volunteerism is unbelievable in this community,” Bell bragged. "At this point, we have no control over the river, but we have some ideas of where it went in 2011."
Bell remembers not long ago flooding from White River caused damage to more than 240 homes and caused first responders to lose access to streets and roads. Now, a community is preparing early and trying to prevent something like that from happening again.
"There are many homes and businesses that we can do a little bit of work with and prevent any damage or loss of property or value,” Bell said.
Michael Ruschmeyer lives on the east side of Des Arc off of Highway 38, which is known for immediate flooding. He said the same things that are happening now, also occurred in 2011 when he lost everything.
"We've got a little warning this time and I am going to save as much of my stuff as I can,” Ruschmeyer said. "They sandbagged over here last year and spent days sandbagging and when the water come up, the big jug, it went right over the top of them."
He said he's concerned with the Mississippi and Black River backing up the White River. He believes when they meet it will cause massive flooding like back in 2011.
“In 2011, it was above this counter," he said pointing at his kitchen counter, which stands at about four feet.
Des Arc is continuing their efforts as they prepare for the worst of what's to come.
“Right now we are not anticipating that much water,” Bell said. "But we don’t know.”
Local police and Des Arc emergency management are keeping a close watch, checking for any rising from the White River.
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