Fort Smith homeowners assess flood damage as more rain rolls in

FORT SMITH, Ark— Tuesday was a busy day for first responders in Sebastian County.

The Fort Smith Fire Department performed at least nine water rescues Tuesday morning.

Travis Cooper with Sebastian County Emergency Management said right now the county is under an increased preparedness level.

This means it’s monitoring radar and flood water activity.

Cooper said crews have put up barricades in flood prone areas as well as cleared debris from roadways.

He asks that while they do this, you make smart decisions in avoiding areas with water.

“Just make certain that if you are trapped, or in the water, know that there’s what we call debris of limbs, trees, you know the vegetation so you know just be safe and don’t go into the water at all,” Cooper said.

The heavy rain in the River Valley is causing flooding and financial concerns for one family.

Tuesday morning, Cortina Pierce and her husband woke up to a half of their bedroom flooded.

“We went and looked and the drainage ditch behind our house was over flooded into our home.. Flooded the whole back of the house,” Pierce said.

Because the house is not technically in a flood zone, insurance won’t cover it.

She said, “Just this morning alone between sandbags and mud boots, we’ve already spend $500 for minimal clean up.”

With more rain expected in the coming days, the cleanup continues for pierce.

Meanwhile, emergency management teams are preparing for the possibility of even more flooding.

“We’ve had a little over 5 inches of rain since midnight here at the EOC so you add two or more inches of rain on that that’s going to cause trouble,” Brad Thomas with Crawford County Emergency Management said. “So we’re just preparing for that. Our road department’s on call 24/7, we have equipment distributed throughout the county in order to respond quicker…”

In Sebastian County, Travis Cooper said he knows the consistent rain could pose a threat later in the night.

“With that knowledge, we know that we have to be ready for that 911 call or anything that might come up,” he said.

Nearby, Pierce is also staying alert for whatever the storm may bring.

“I’m still in the process of soaking in all of it this morning so I’m not sure where the future is going to lead,” she said.

The biggest thing both emergency management teams are trying to push right now is the importance of turning around when you see blocked off roads.

This keeps both you, and them safe.

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