The community of Jacksonville is continuing restoration efforts after rain in recent weeks resulted in major amounts of flooding, the members of the Jacksonville City Council were told on May 4 during the council’s last regular meeting.
Council members were advised that motorists faced major challenges as flood waters were causing major transportation issues between Jacksonville and Cabot.
Flood waters were high enough that it resulted in the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to close thoroughfares, including Highway 67/167 between Cabot and Jacksonville due to flooding to the Bayou region.
In addition, the northbound lanes of Highway 67-167 North were closed after being submerged under about a foot of flood water. More than four miles of the highway were affected.
Northbound traffic was being diverted to Jacksonville at Vandenberg Boulevard at Exit 11 while southbound traffic was being diverted in Cabot at State Highway 5 at Exit 16.The floodwaters at the Jacks Bayou near Jacksonville had been overflowing onto the freeway.
Jacksonville officials were reminded that flooding in town is caused by two sources the Bayou Meto and Jacks Bayou. When they leave their banks during heavy storms floodwaters can cover many blocks up to four or five feet deep. Although floodwaters are not always this deep they still cover streets and yards and can flood cars, garages, basements and lower floors.
Flooding in these areas can occur with little warning. After a heavy rain in 2003, Jacks Bayou flooded Highway 67/167 and John Harden Drive. The Bayou Meto floods Dupree Park and the one lane bridge on West Main at least once a year, usually putting the park and bridge out of commission for a day or two.
As cleanup efforts continue, there are steps that can be taken by residents to lessen the impact of flood waters.
“Do not dump or throw anything into our ditches or streams,” reads a release issued by the city of Jacksonville. “Dumping in our ditches and streams is a violation of Jacksonville City Ordinance 549. Even grass clippings and branches can accumulate and plug channels. A plugged channel cannot carry water and when it rains the water has to go somewhere. Every piece of trash contributes to flooding.”
Jacksonville was far from the only city that saw flood damage in Pulaski County. Sherwood, North Little Rock and Maumelle all had high waters.