Arkansas levee district gets $2M to cover flood damage cost


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Little Rock levee district is getting $2 million to cover the cost of repairing recent flood damage.

The board of commissioners with the Riverdale Levee Improvement District approved the sum Thursday at a special meeting. The money will pay for work the levee district did in the area. The district conducted additional engineering, construction and pump work to ensure its homes and businesses were protected from flooding.

Commission Chairman Mike Myers said the funding will cover the levee district’s bills until it gets reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“It’s a bridge until we find out what we’re going to get,” Myers said.

Arkansas saw record flooding this year that damaged many levees. And as of last month, the Arkansas River was too high and fast to assess flood damage in the Little Rock area, officials said. The river crested at 29.71 feet (9.06 meters) on June 5, the highest river level in the Little Rock area since 1945, according to weather records. Riverdale and other low-lying neighborhoods were among the places most affected by floodwaters in the city, the Arkansas Gazette-Democrat reported .

The Riverdale levee surrounds the neighborhood, stretching from the railroad tracks near the intersection of Riverfront Drive and Cantrell Road to the roundabout at Riverfront Drive and Rebsamen Park Road, and from the Arkansas River to Rebsamen Park Road.

The levee was constructed to allow the development of the Riverdale area — home to organizations including Winrock International and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield along with several apartment complexes. The levee also encompasses the Canal Pointe development, which has a marina.

The Riverdale levee district previously had a $100,000 line of credit. Levee districts are funded by a tax on businesses, developments and homeowners within the district.

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