High water prevents Ouachita levee inspection
High water has kept the Army Corps of Engineers from making its annual inspection of Ouachita River
levees, leaving accreditation - and FEMA flood maps - up in the air.
The corps' Joe McFarland told the Tensas Basin Levee District board on Tuesday that five or six dry days are needed before inspectors can drive on the levees without damaging them.
The river has been at or above flood stage for most of the past six months.
Last year, officials said the system was likely to be rated unacceptable under new standards.
If that happens, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will redraw flood maps as if the levees
don't exist, requiring flood insurance for any building with a federally backed mortgage.