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Benton County Judge Signs Emergency Disaster Declaration

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KFSM) — Benton County Judge Barry Moehring has signed an Emergency Disaster Declaration for the significant severe weather and flooding on Sunday (Oct. 6).

Judge Moehring signed the declaration Thursday (Oct. 10) due to portions of Benton County receiving an average of 12 inches of rain, which caused widespread flash flooding.

At one point, the flooding closed nearly 80 roads in unincorporated Benton County.

The declaration requests public assistance for roads and bridges from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and allows the department to reimburse Benton County and participating cities for 35% of the cost to repair structures to pre-disaster conditions.

In order to qualify for assistance from ADEM, Benton County must meet a damage amount of at least $849,942.

As of Oct. 10, Benton County and all the cities within Benton County have estimated the total cost for repairs to $1,107,500.

This amount may change pending ongoing assessments.

This is a preliminary damage assessment (PDA) from Benton County, Highfill, Gentry, Bella Vista, Elm Springs, Cave Springs and Sulphur Springs. Other cities are still adding their PDA’s to the total dollar amount.

According to Benton County leaders, some residents are concerned about when these roads will be fixed. They said they want to assure residents that it may take some time but they have already begun the process.

In the meantime time, the damage is proving to rough for workers like Jeff Bruno who came from out of town. Bruno and other workers are installing a fiber line of Centerton near Opal Road where they are installing a fiber line.

"If you have to brush hog the weeds out of the way to mark the easement it's hard to get the brush hog in some spots because it will sink in the mud," Bruno said.

Crew members said they were also concerned with the possible freezing temperature that is expected to settle in on Saturday morning (Oct.11).

"It slows us down a little but we still work through it," Bruno said.

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