Crawford County can expect to receive state assistance in the wake of damage it sustained during flash flooding Friday.
The Crawford County E-911 Advisory Board heard from County Emergency Management Director Brad Thomas about the flooding during its meeting Wednesday.
Thomas said the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management assessed the damage caused by the flooding Tuesday and Wednesday. The county easily qualified for state aid, having met its threshold of slightly more than $234,000. Thomas described state aid as a reimbursement-type program, with the state to compensate the county with 35 percent of the repair costs.
About 5.8 inches of rain fell from late Thursday morning to late Friday morning in Crawford County, a previous Times Record article states. Much of thE rain fell after 1 a.m. Friday on the north-central and northeastern parts of the county. The downpours led to flash floods that caused more than 20 road washouts in the county, as well as other damage, and multiple swift water rescues.
The board also approved contracting with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials to conduct a study on whether or not Crawford County needs to consolidate its three dispatch centers.
Tina Thompson, 911 and Geographic Information Systems administrator with the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, said she spoke with Steve Wisely of APCO, who went over how the company does its studies. The county received approval from the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board to use county 911 monies to pay for this study, which will cost $5,550.
"And if they come back and say that consolidation isn't the way for Crawford County to go, that study can be used and taken to the 911 state board to help convince them and get votes from them to leave our dispatch centers the way that they are," Thompson said.
If APCO recommends consolidation after the study is complete, Thompson said Crawford County has the option to contract with the company to help it through that transition.
This study was previously discussed during the Crawford County Intergovernmental Council's meeting July 17 in relation to Arkansas Act 660, which is to establish the Public Safety Act of 2019, amend the Arkansas Public Safety Communications Act of 1985 and develop a next generation 911 system. Arkansas Act 660 was approved during this year's Arkansas legislative session.