WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — It has been a frantic start to the new year for people living at the Riverbend Apartments in West Memphis, Arkansas.
The complex was flooded after Monday’s torrential rain caused a nearby drainage ditch to overflow. Water rushed into ground floor units on the property and forced residents to evacuate of the complex.
You can hear the frustration in Kesha Edwards’ voice as she sizes up the damage in her apartment.
“I’m just at a loss for words. I lost mostly everything,” she said. “I got to start all over again and it’s frustrating. I’m mad.”
Edwards, like the others at Riverbend, woke up Tuesday to a parking lot full of water headed straight into ground floor units.
“I was getting up, getting ready for work. At first, about 5, it was just a little water. By six o’clock it was like halfway, well, past my baseboards,” she said.
The complex resembled an oceanfront property Tuesday as utility crews tried to pump the water from the complex. By Wednesday, the water had receded, but not the feelings of exasperation.
Sherry Franklin, who also lives at the complex, said there’s a lot of confusion and no one has a clue where they’re going to lay their heads.
“I don’t know if they’re going to let us stay in them. The utilities came back on but I don’t know if we’re able to go in them. I don’t know where the apartment manager is,” she said.
We found the apartment manager and asked if she had a count on the number of units damaged.
“We haven’t. That’s what I’m trying to do now,” she said.
We were told apartment management and the American Red Cross have been conducting damage assessments all day and the Red Cross has set up a shelter at First Baptist Church on Missouri Street for displaced apartment residents.
We tried to reach Home River Group, owner of Riverbend, to find out if they have any plans for assisting apartment residents with damage or relocation, but they have not returned our calls.