FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA)– Down in the River Valley, the historic flooding has ended but the trauma continues for those living here.
Lynette Jackson spends her days volunteering at the Arkansas Retired Military Association, barely scraping up enough money to make rent.
“My rent is 85 percent of my income,“ Jackson said.
She’s living in temporary housing; a small apartment off 6th St.
“It’s pretty crowded in my little apartment, but if I had to do it with one or two kids…there’s no way,“ she said.
This comes after Jackson lived through two different floods in Louisiana, then came to Fort Smith for relief.
She recalls the moments the flood waters started to creep in
She said, “There was a knock on my door at 5:30 in morning, ‘Get up get out the water’s rising.’“
From escaping the floods in Louisiana, to having to relocate in Fort smith for the same reason, Jackson now has to live in a less than 500 sq. ft. apartment.
But flood victims aren’t alone. FEMA just set up shop for their first full day in the Central Mall in Fort Smith on Wednesday to connect them with resources.
Carlos Urrutia, a housing crew lead at the center, said, “We’re going to be here to receive them, we’re going to try to help them, so they get good guidance, so in the end they receive the best possible service from FEMA.“
Jackson said because she can’t afford to move back to Louisiana under these circumstances, she’s decided to make the Natural State home.
“When I start thinking about my family in Louisiana and everything I lost, like I lost things that belonged to my husband that passed away, that gets very depressing,“ she said.
While it’s hard at times, she has a message for those who are in similar situations.
Jackson said, “No matter how bad it may seem, trust me, there’s always tomorrow.“