Corps of Engineers Employees are Arkansans Too

Casey Baker is a native Arkansan. He grew up in Benton, attended college in Little Rock, and married his high school sweetheart. He was a Reservist for 6 years in the Marine Corps, and a lot of the men he deployed with were effected by flooding in Conway, AR. Baker works for the Corps of Engineers as a Civil Engineer, and was tasked along with best friend Jonathan Palmer, as technical advisers to come up with a solution to the Conway County drainage pipe problem. Their plan was then handed off to local county and city officials, and implemented. On May 26, water was back flowing from the gravity drain into the surrounding areas threatening Highway 9. This was a cause for concern, since this highway was one of the only ways in or out of the area; given that all other access points were closed due to flooding.

Casey Baker (left) and Jonathan Palmer (right), Little Rock District civil engineers, watch over the construction site as work continued to create a sheet piling basin for the water from the drainage pipe leak. (Photo by Becca Nappi)

When asked how he felt about being a part of this amazing effort Baker said, “There is a different level of work ethic when it’s your local community. For example, Mr. Lentz, of Lentz Construction Company, a man in his mid-60s was out there sweating through his shirt and running his own equipment on his own dime, and stayed until the job was done.

Baker went on to say that “The community brought us food and water, and there was no recognition for those folks.  But that’s all they could do and it was awesome to see the community coming together to help. Everyone pitched in and stayed until the job was done.”

Baker said this is something that will stick with him for a long time.

He left with these words;” I hope this is a once in a lifetime event and I am proud that I got to meet those farmers and locals and help them. And I can’t say it enough, without their buy in and their blood, sweat, and tears none of the things that were written about in these news articles would happen and we would have a completely different story.”


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