Arkansas residents swamped by floodwaters optimistic about the future

Greg Gill on his farmland (Photo Credit: CBS News)

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (CBS News) – In Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, farmer Greg Gill used a motorboat instead of a tractor to sail over his rice, corn, soybeans and peanuts. More than 5,000 acres of crops have drowned in 16 feet of water.

“This is definitely not normal. They say it was a hundred-year flood, but this is the fourth one in my lifetime,” Gill said.

Bit by bit, Kim and Greg Chaffin are mopping up the last of 19 inches of floodwater that drenched their Pocahontas furniture store.

“We probably lost about 15 percent of our inventory,” Kim said. “We’re hoping in two weeks we’ll be back up and running.”

The shop was in its new location for only two months when torrential rain swelled the nearby Black River 9 feet over cresting levels and caused major levee breaches.

Eighty-seven-year-old Charlie Rose is making the most of his time at a shelter, entertained by a Boy Scout volunteer.

“I don’t know how much water. It’s in the house, but I don’t know how much,” Rose said.

He’s not sure when he gets back to his flooded home.

“You know, you got to think on the positive end of things. Negative will get you in trouble. And that’s what it is here, it’s all very positive,” he said.

Even though it’s been raining in the area all day long, floodwaters are receding.

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