Fort Smith Homeowners Continue To Prepare For Historic Flood

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) -- Neighborhoods along the Arkansas River in Fort Smith are bracing for impact from flood waters and homeowners have been busy preparing for what’s to come.

Crews from Fort Smith Fire and Police departments were out in the Edgewater Cove neighborhood frantically working together to fill as many sandbags as possible.

"I’ll bring a load to my house, and another may go over here. We’re spreading it out to make sure everybody gets protected," resident Daryl Cliffton said.

While some people have lived in this area for more than 30 years and have seen flooding before, this one has them very concerned.

A group of volunteers from a local church came to help fill sandbags.

"It does impact me because it’s impacting people around me in my community and I just want to be there to help people," Aleska Spars said. "Just seeing people’s houses in preparation is kind of heartbreaking."

One woman went through Hurricane Katrina and knows what it’s like to experience a historic event like this.

"We know what this feels like, we know what it’s like to watch this come in and have to make decisions about what to take and leave and just to know that’s it’s coming and there’s nothing you can do about it," said sandbag volunteer Shoni Glasscock. "So that’s what drove us out here to help friends and neighbors."

According to the Sebastian County Emergency Management Director, Kendall Beam, people need to stay vigilant.

"In this situation the homes that normally don’t have water in them, you can expect water in them," Beam said.

County officials are urging people to stay vigilant and not to go near the water because it’s a dangerous situation.

"Nobody knows what it’s going to do and nobody has ever experienced this before because by the time we get this over with this is going to be the number one flood for the Arkansas River in this region," Beam said.

If it does comes to the point where you need to evacuate and you need help call 911.

Fire crews are on standby and ready to go when called. There are also rescue teams in the River Valley with the National Guard.

No mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Sebastian County yet, but if that changes we will update you.

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