Here’s the latest update on the dual emergencies taking place in Jonesboro at the moment:
Streets Department crews are working fast to remove tornado debris from ditches around the city in anticipation of afternoon rains. Streets Supervisor Steve Tippitt said his department is aware of a forecast of 2 to 3 inches of rain. “If we don’t get the ditches cleaned enough, we very likely will see some flooding,” Tippitt said.
Mayor Harold Perrin also asked those performing cleanup work to follow the guidelines of where to take debris: If it is tree limbs or other vegetative debris, take it to the sandpit on Strawfloor Road. If it household debris or other non-perishables, take it to Legacy Landfill on Arkansas 1 South.
“Streets crews have been working since Saturday evening to clear streets and ditches,” Perrin said. “They are some of the unsung heroes of this challenge, and I applaud them for the work they are doing.”
Another city-wide curfew has been ordered for 9 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Perrin said, to protect property and allow first responders unabated access to city streets.
Three traffic signals continue to be out of service for an extended period: Brazos Street and Highland Avenue, Clinton School Road and Johnson Avenue, and Caraway Road and Race Street. Lights at 15 intersections were initially disabled by the tornado, City Engineer Craig Light said, but these three were significantly damaged.
Professional cleanup crews can have licenses fast-tracked by going to the City Collections Department at the Municipal Center, 300 S. Church St. Residents should ask to view a contractor’s privilege license before hiring anyone to do work at their home or business, Police Chief Rick Elliott said.
JET buses continue to run on schedule but a couple routes have been affected by the storm: stops at Turtle Creek Mall and at Cain and Highland are not available until further notice.
Perrin and City medical director Dr. Shane Speights, Dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, stressed the importance of using practices of social distancing even while working to recover from the tornado.
“These are unprecedented times,” Speights said. “We still have a lot of time to stay resilient to flatten the curve of coronavirus in our city.”