Rainwater’s Men’s Clothing In Fort Smith Reopens After Historic Flooding

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — With this year's historic flooding now behind us, businesses in the River Valley are reopening after months of repairs.

One of those businesses, Rainwater's Men's Clothing, is finally opening its doors back up.

Owner Gayle Rainwater's family has owned this business since 1974. He says they had about 24 hours to evacuate all of their inventory before floodwaters took over.

"Move everything out, find a warehouse and get prepared for water to come in our store," Rainwater said. "The stress of just having the building flooded for two weeks was a lot because you couldn’t really do much at that time period."

Along with help from employees, the Rainwater's have done much of the work to get the business back in shape.

"So the guys who are used to selling clothes had to do construction work and help me. A lot of seven days a week, long hours and a lot of overtime," Rainwater said.

Rainwater says he did not have flood insurance, so it's been a tough couple of months.

"Like most of the people in the area, it comes all out of your bank account," Rainwater said.

Although it cost thousands of dollars to get back to where they are today, Rainwater says they are just happy to be serving the people of the River Valley once again.

"I just kept in mind that this is just material things and family and friends is what’s really important," Rainwater said. "We really appreciate the customers coming and seeing us."

Now that Rainwater's is back in business, they're excited to have their customers back in and shopping.

FEMA declared the flooding a federal disaster, allowing financial assistance from the government.

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