Fort Smith renters lose everything to flooding

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The recent historic flooding in Fort Smith isn’t new to resident, Shelia Clayton.

“I’ve been in one before,” Clayton said. “I’ve been in Katrina.”

She says Hurricane Katrina was worse because she was stranded in her home for several days. Even so, she never expected to go through something like this again. In fact, she left New Orleans to avoid it.

“Arkansas. I just didn’t think that they have stuff like this happen up here,” Clayton said.

Clayton’s neighbor Laura Shettleworth’s said this is the first flood she’s been through. She said when she first heard there would be historic high waters, she didn’t think much of it since a tornado had touched down a block away the week before.

“I kind of made the joke to my spouse I was like, ‘We need an adventure,'” Shettleworth said. “I wish I would have never said that because it’s been one thing after another.”

She had renters insurance, but when she called about it, she found out it didn’t help in this situation. 

“If the pipes burst in your neighbor’s house, and you had to relocate, then it would have covered your moving expenses,” Shettleworth said.

Shettleworth and her family are living with her parents. Clayton is living out of her car, trying to keep her spirits up.

“I’m going through a lot. I’m trying to hold up and be strong,” Clayton said. “Because they have other people that’s worse off than

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