FORT SMITH (KNWA/KFTA) — Rain has the potential to bring flash flooding into the River Valley overnight and into Friday morning. The Fort Smith Police Department issued a flood warning through Friday at noon. Workers at the Fort Smith Coffee Company are hoping the rain stays slow and steady.

Whenever there’s heavy rain in a short amount of time, Fort Smith Coffee Co. general manager, Michael Stevens, said the drainage near Towson Avenue can’t keep up. The coffee shop has seen quite a bit of flooding since it opened just over five years ago.

Stevens said the store has seen flooding three or four times. Karina Labrada has worked at the store since May. She loves working at the coffee shop and said the workers and owners do whatever they can when it floods to keep everyone safe.

“We’re always mopping and cleaning trying to make sure everything is safe for the customers to still enjoy their coffee,” Labrada said.

According to Travis Cooper with Sebastian County Emergency Management, Towson Avenue, Pheonix Avenue, Old Greenwood Road and Kinkead Avenue are some of the most frequently flooded areas when flash flooding hits.

It’s hard to know when you’re about to drive over high water until it’s too late. Cooper said you need to keep a careful eye out when rain is coming down frequently. His advice– slow down, try to stop and back up when you see high water. Then, report any high water in the roadway to local police or emergency management.

Cooper also has a warning for residents about road barricades.

“Go around them. Don’t go past those barricades. The key factor is ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ We don’t want you to do any more damage to you or even your vehicle,” Cooper said.

Whenever there is any severe weather in the forecast, whether it calls for heavy rain, thunderstorms or tornados, Cooper said you always need to keep a preparedness kit on standby in your car and your home.

It needs to contain a flashlight, extra batteries, water bottles, a weather radio, an emergency blanket and high visibility vest.

If you need a safe place to hide during a tornado warning, most public school district campuses in Sebastian County have tornado shelters built in. When the tornado sirens start going off, the shelters will open, according to Cooper.