Last week Mr. Gary Grimes resigned as Greenwood’s representative for our City with the Governor and Legislators in Little Rock. Mr. Grimes will be dearly missed. He organized the electronic communication system for Planning Director Sonny Bell that we used to keep everybody so well informed during this last legislative session, in fact the best one we have ever had. It was the highest form of communication the City has ever had during a Legislative session with all Departments involved in the activities. We were all aware of what was going on as fast as it could be typed in a computer so we could plan our next moves. Mr. Grimes’ system was not only informative, but also much more cost effective and less time consuming than before. Bottom line is we were able to get more bang for our buck, which was a plus for Greenwood. I will regretfully accept his resignation, but will also state that I will support his decision to come back and assist our fine City anytime.
The relentless rains just pounded our City this last Friday and Saturday. Thank GOD we didn’t experience any serious flooding or tornadoes in Greenwood. Please be in prayer for those who lost loved ones and property in the surrounding areas and other states. Contact City Hall if you want to help with the clean-up or donate and we will direct you in the right direction. I was up at 3:30am on Saturday morning monitoring the weather activity. The Fire and Police Departments were on alert in Greenwood. I was getting constant weather reports on the situation. A big thank you goes out to former Councilman Jim Newcomb. He hit the Greenwood streets at 5:45am, giving me eyewitness reports of the potential flooding activities in our City. Mr. Newcomb has been through 3 floods in Greenwood and knew where the weak points were. At 6:45am I got a call from Mr. Newcomb stating that although the rushing water was still 20” below the flood stage marks on the bridge pillars, the water had rose 5” in 30 minutes and the rain was not letting up at that point which meant more water would soon be headed to Hartsall and Hester creeks. I told Mr. Newcomb to come get me and while he was on his way to get me, I called Street Director Joe Maness and informed him it was time to get the sand bagging crews out and going. Mr. Newcomb and I drove from point to point in the City monitoring the activities of the rising creeks. At about 9:00am the rain slowed to a drizzle, I was excited, just a thirty minute break in the rain will let a tremendous amount of water run out of the creeks. Mr. Newcomb reminded me we weren’t out of the woods yet, all the water running off of the hills surrounding the City had yet to hit the creeks running through Greenwood. We went by and checked the flood markings on the bridge pillar again. Much to our surprise the water was way past the old Flood Zone Markings. We re-checked the weak points along the creeks, there was no flooding. When the water receded, you could see that it had risen 12” above the old flood mark.
If you will remember in 2012 we cleaned out the creek north of Highway 10 towards Fort Chaffee. We were able to do this with the help of County Judge Hudson and State Senator Bruce Holland. In the past if the rising waters got 12” above the old flood stage in Greenwood, the citizens would have experienced hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in property and home damage. I assure you we are working hard at City Hall to ensure we defeat the flooding issues in Greenwood and protect people’s property from flooding.
I would like to add that our Police and Fire Departments assisted those in need in Scott County over the weekend and for that we say thank you.