FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Rain is in the forecast for much of Northwest Arkansas this weekend, and with that rain some flash flooding potential. Some residents in the Fayetteville area are tired of their neighborhoods flooding during heavy downpours.

Gayle McKenzie lives on W. Valley Drive in Fayetteville. She said at least three of her neighbors had to move out because flooding has severely damaged their homes. She blames part of this on a creek near their houses.

“There are a number of streets in the area where the water comes up into their houses, and it’s very dangerous,” said McKenzie.

The Battalion Chief for the Fayetteville Fire Department said even though it’s been dry outside for a while doesn’t mean your street won’t flood.

“We have been under a burn ban so people don’t think of flash flooding this time of year, but as you’ve seen in Kentucky, the weather conditions can change almost at any time,” said Chief Travis Boudrey.

For McKenzie, she has had to take extra precautions during times of potential flooding.

“I’m afraid to stay in my house. If I think it’s going to flood, I go somewhere else, and I shouldn’t have to do that,” said McKenzie.

Even though it’s not ideal, Boudrey said it’s one of the safest things you can do.

“If we’re going to have extreme flash flooding, to get ahead of that, let the weather happen then go back and try to recover their home as opposed to being trapped there,” said Boudrey.

If the severe weather continues in her area, McKenzie may look to leave the community she’s been in for years. She wants to see a solution within the next few years.

“I think it would be to the city’s advantage to fix the drainage problem,” said McKenzie.

The City of Fayetteville addressed the flooding on W. Valley Drive. Public Works Director, Chris Brown, said it would be a challenge to fix the area.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of options for making improvements to the stream itself in the area. The stream width would have to be increased substantially, and the culvert crossing under I-49 would have to be enlarged,” said Brown. “Neither of these are financially feasible.”

At a city involvement meeting earlier this month, Fayetteville announced it was partnering with the State Department of Agriculture to work on submitting a grant application for FEMA funds. It would benefit citizens living in high risk areas like W. Valley Drive.

Boudrey has more tips for those who have to deal with flash flooding. One of the things to keep in mind if you’re driving and see water on the road— turn around, don’t drown.

“We want them and their family home safely as quickly and conveniently as possible. If it means taking a few extra minutes, that’s okay, at least they got home safe,” said Boudrey.

He also issued a warning for those who may be hitting the trails during potential rainfall.

“Even if the rain tapers of, the water may still be over the trail. So, we advise people not to cross the trail in that area,” said Boudrey.

Overall, if you travel or live in an at-risk area, you should stay updated on the forecast to avoid being caught unaware.

“Pay attention to the weather forecasts and take precautionary measures ahead of time, be proactive,” said Boudrey.