POCAHONTAS, Ark. – The often-mentioned Robil Addition in east Pocahontas has become accessible again, the mayor told NEA Report on Friday afternoon.
Pocahontas Mayor Kary Story said he wanted to get word out as quickly as possible: water expected to be pumped out of the Robil Addition by close of the work day Friday, May 5. At 1 p.m., Story said the city had been letting people back in for two or three hours to take care of their homes and do whatever they do on their homes but the area is being heavily patrolled by authorities.
No one is allowed back in without a form of ID to show they live there.
Story said the city will have police there, Arkansas State Police are also on patrol and even the National Guard would be guarding the addition.
“We want everyone to know up front: if you’re coming here to loot, don’t even bother,” Story said. “We’re going to protect our residents. We’re serious about it.”
Story said there was already people ripping out carpet, walls, and baseboards. To help with that, Story announced Friday the City of Pocahontas would waive the fee for renovation permits for those affected by the flood. However, you still have to fill out the paperwork to keep track so the city can inspect and make sure the job is safely done. Those can be obtained from the building code inspector at city hall. Story said homeowners can begin work and get started over the weekend, so long as they don’t get into the contractor hiring phase or electrical work, for example.
“People can start tearing out and start filling out the paperwork when they can,” Story said. “We’re not trying to hinder. We’re trying to streamline that process.”
If residents affected by the flood have tear-out rubbish they need to dispose of, they can sit it out by the curb and the city will take care of it. However, Story said this was for flood victims only.
“There’s still some standing water on Old County Road,” Story said at 1:15 p.m. Friday. “If you see standing water, and if you can’t see the bottom, you’re better off not to drive through it since we don’t know if there is road under it or not.”
- Walmart employees are back inside cleaning and getting going. They’re hoping to be up and running by Monday morning – maybe sooner.
- Price Chopper closed one evening at 6 p.m. when they thought it would flood – but they managed to save the store.
- Baltz Ace Hardware was also saved.
- KFC suffered major damage with seeping drainage getting into the building badly before flood waters engulfed the building. It likely needs a major renovation.
- KPOC took significant damage, we’re told, and will be off the air for an undetermined time.