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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Widespread flooding causes bridge damage

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Loberg Park was under water on April 26, as the Spring River reached 20.71 feet, 10.71 feet above flood stage. Photo/Tammy Curtis [Order this photo]
The massive rainfall and flooding in the area over the last week has caused widespread damage to many areas in Sharp County.

The Spring River reached 20.71 feet on April 26, which is 10.71 feet above flood stage. The river caused extensive damage to the approach to the Wilburn Brother's Bridge, Buford Park and Loberg Park.

Businesses including Creekside Loft in Hardy were damaged by the rising waters. After the river receded, rainfall over the weekend raised the river stage to 15.85, well past the flood stage again.

Sharp County Judge Larry Brown said the damage in the county is widespread on backroads. Besides the strong storm near Grange, there are also roads closed due to bridges and approaches being washed out.

Brown said Bird Creek Bridge on Needmore Road, west of Evening Shade, has been condemned and is closed until further notice.

He said the county will attempt to build a temporary crossing as soon as weather permits.

Because of high water, much of the damage can not be seen, Brown said. The Sandhole on Big Creek is impassable and water is still over the bridge on the Strawberry River.

Judge Brown said it is hard to get heavy equipment on the roadways due to the saturated conditions and explained it will be a while before the bridges are all repaired. He urged the patience of residents, while the county works on the repairs.

Sharp County is one of the county's being considered for Federal Disaster Aid. Governor Mike Beebe made a declaration to submit to President Obama for consideration, along with 56 other counties in the state that have incurred flood and wind damage.

Many roads have been closed in areas outside of Sharp County as well, due to heavy flooding on the Black, White and Eleven Point Rivers.

The State Highway and Transportation Department urges motorists to check road closures before traveling, at (800) 245-1672.

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