Displaced family spends over a week in Red Cross shelter


FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA)– The Arkansas River is taking over streets, businesses and homes as the water continues to rise.

While the infrastructure suffers, so do the people. 

Red Cross reports that as of noon Friday, it’s sheltering almost 100 people who have been displaced by the historic flood. 

About 70 of those people are at the Evangel Temple seeking shelter. 

“It’s scary. Not knowing what’s going to happen, and where you’re going to go. Especially with your kids,” said Sarah Burris, who was displaced from her home.

For Burris, Friday marks seven days of sleeping on a cot in a basketball court turned bedroom.

She said she’s never experienced something like this in her life.

At Evangel Temple in Fort Smith, the mother of two recounts the moments she had to evacuate from the home she was living in because of the record flooding across the Arkansas River.

“The kids were wondering where we were going,” she said. “I don’t think they really grasped the situation yet.” 

But as the days go by, reality starts to sink in for these little ones.

“We can’t move away because our home is flooded,” said Burris’ son Noah.

Before the water took over, these three were living in Moffett, OK, less than five miles away from Fort Smith. 

But, Burris tells me she doesn’t feel alone in this.

People have stepped up to help make her kids happy, giving them things like shoes and toys.

“It’s really hectic here. But it’s a nice, dry safe place you know?” she said. “I’m just really happy that they’re here.”

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