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Pine Bluff still seeing effects from historical flooding in 2019

Floodwaters resulted in millions of dollars in damages, as dozens of homes were destroyed and many businesses were closed as a result.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — In 2019, the only way to access the Island Harbor Marina was by boat.

Things look a lot different now, but Bart Moore is one of many residents who's still trying to get their lives back to normal.

He vividly remembers how bad the floodwaters impacted the home he lived in for almost 30 years.

“June of 2019, on this day approximately, the water was four feet deep in my old house,” Moore said. “When the water went down, there was nothing to save my house.” 

Two years before the historic flood, he said he lost the love of his life.

During that time, Moore said he was not in a good place and wanted to leave the area after his house was destroyed.

“I just really didn't know what to do with my life and I was fixing to leave Pine Bluff, but I was born and raised right here, retired from the fire department, and decided to stick with it and rebuild,” he said.

Moore turned his loss into motivation and decided to start over.

He said it is still hard for him and he cannot forget how his life used to be.

“I walk out on that deck and say 'right here used to be my old house and here's my new house way up here',” Moore said.

10 minutes away from Moore’s home, the Delta Rivers Nature Center saw a significant amount of damage which caused the Pine Bluff museum to close for months.

“We were looking at probably half a million to a million dollars of damages that we ended up sustaining and that was our projections at what it was going to cost,” Jason Hooks said.

Hooks, the facility director at the Delta Rivers Nature Center, said there's still quite a bit of work to do even two years later.

“There is still a few places on the trail that we have to repair because the water had damaged some of our board walks,” he said.

Despite the devastation the floodwaters left behind, Moore said he is happy he was able to build another home.

“I love it, I’m 14-foot off the slab and it's like being in a treehouse,” he said.

Many things in the area have reopened in the time since the flood, but some businesses remain closed to this day.

Harbor Oakes Golf Club and Restaurant was heavily damaged. The golf course is open, but the restaurant remains closed.

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