EARLE, Ark. – Evacuees in Earle are getting a first look at their homes after floodwaters began receding Wednesday night.
It was clear several homes had been flooded Thursday and debris littered streets throughout the town of about 2,200.
“It wasn’t much, but it was some in there for where our carpet on the floor, where our table at and into our kitchen,” said Valencia Wren, describing the damage inside her home.
Her street is lined with water-logged furniture. There’s also the body of a dog Wren believes drowned.
“The dog was up there when it was still flooding before it dried up, but when we came back the dog was right there,” Wren said.
In another part of town, Patricia Smith spent the day inspecting her home, which narrowly avoiding taking on water.
“This whole place was flooded. It was flooded out,” said Patricia Smith, who said the water level reached the roof of her car Monday.
Water did surround Smith’s home and, at one point, she and her family had to board a rescue boat like about a dozen or so other Earle families.
“We couldn’t get out. You know, we couldn’t out out the front nor the back,” she said.
There were still a handful of homes Thursday afternoon cut off from their neighbors by inches of water, but none appeared to be occupied.
Geneva Branch, a 34-year resident of Earle, said her neighborhood floods often and that the constant flooding has even prompted people to leave.
“A lot of the neighbors started moving out, selling their homes and all,” Branch said.
But Monday, Branch said the water was higher than she’s seen it since the 2011 flood.
She blames it on a nearby pond that she says spills over.
“Just put a levee around it or a brick wall – we’ll have it made,” she said.
Branch’s neighbors are just resolving to make the best of what they have left.