(Photo Courtesy of Chief Brooks, Moffett Police Dept.)
Moffett authorities are working feverishly to save their town as the Arkansas River floods. Moffett Police Chief Riley Brooks said police and firemen are pumping water out of city hall – at 10 a.m. Wednesday – to save city hall, the police department and Mayor Kathy Luper’s office.
“We are trying to salvage city hall and our records,” Brooks said.
Brooks said help was also going on at Moffett School. Brooks said he was helping School Superintendent Jimmie Owens barricade school buildings with sand bags. He said one building on the school campus was flooded as of Wednesday morning.
Most Moffett residents have voluntarily evacuated but a few remain, Brooks said. He said firemen went door to door advising residents to leave. It was not a mandatory evacuation.
“We have two apartment complexes in Moffett,” Brooks said. “One is empty and a few people remain in the other apartments.”
Brooks said the American Red Cross is helping with the evacuation, especially the elderly, and are providing evacuees with shelter, food and clothing.
“The Red Cross is really helping us,” Brooks said.
Brooks said authorities had to use innovative techniques to direct water around city hall.
He said, “We got some railroad ties and some sand bags, and tied them together and put them around city hall to redirect the water flow. It was flowing right into city hall. The current is redirected out into a field.”
Brooks said the entire town, from Third Street west, is “completely impassable. It’s a running current.”
He noted the Arkansas River is currently at 35 feet, which is about 10 feet above normal. The National Weather Service reports the river is expected to peak Wednesday, then begin to fall
Brooks said he wanted the public to know that Moffett government, police and the fire department are “fully functional.”.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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