St. Francis County seeking state, federal disaster assistance after damage from record rainfall

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ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. -- People in St. Francis County, Ark., are cleaning up after this weekend's record rainfall.

Up to ten inches fell within 24 hours, flooding fields, roads, homes and some businesses.

The county Emergency Management Agency has been collecting damage reports and a disaster declaration is being prepared. It's the first step in getting state and federal assistance.

Carolyn and Timothy Michael live on Day Street in Forrest City, Ark.

Carolyn's iPad is full of pictures showing how high the water got around their home during this past weekend's record rainfall.

"This picture was taken on Sunday. It was still raining at the time and I was standing at my front door. This is my backyard, looking over across to the next block. Water did enter into our storage building," said Carolyn.

Fortunately the water never got inside the Michaels' home, but some of their neighbors weren't so lucky.

"All the way cross there to that other house there, to that other house, to those houses. All the way over here. You couldn't see the ground at all," said Carolyn.

Wednesday, the street outside the Michaels' home was finally passable, but lined with piles of wet carpet.

Officials in St. Francis County urge anyone with flood damage to report it as soon as possible.

The information will help the county get state and federal assistance if it becomes available.

Gene Satterfield owns Hughes Furniture Store on Highway 70.

He's already filed a damage report.

"Well, I figure I lost about 25-thousand dollars worth of stuff," said Satterfield.

After about two feet of water finally subsided, he was left with a warehouse full of soggy furniture.

"There's dinning room, bedroom, mattresses. Some Ashley, some Bassett," said Satterfield.

Satterfield moved to Forrest City from Hughes a year ago, doesn't have flood insurance and didn't think he'd ever need it.

"I wouldn't have moved in here if I'd known it would flood that way. But we had a ten inch rain and that's something very unusual," said Satterfield.

There are thousands of dollars in damage to streets and drainage facilities in Forrest City alone.

If you have damage, you should take pictures of it and call the office of County Judge John Hughes at 870-261-1700.

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