City of Conway officials warn residents living along Tucker Creek to be mindful of rising flood waters as flooding continues across the state in the coming days.
"They need to be taking precautions now," spokesman Bobby M. Kelly III told the Log Cabin Democrat on Wednesday regarding those who live near the creek. "If your house flooded in 2016, there's a good chance it's going to flood now."
Staying up to date with weather updates is extremely important at this point, he said.
One long-time Conway resident who has lived near Tucker Creek for more than a decade cautions his neighbors to take area flooding warnings seriously.
"If you live along Tucker Creek, please plan accordingly. It's too late to get flood insurance if you don't have it (30-day waiting period), so empty your homes as much as possible (especially valuables and furniture that may be damaged by the water)," Chad Jones, who currently lives on Briarwood Circle, said. "Please take it seriously, I don't want anyone to go through what we had to go through by not planning."
Jones' home suffered $50,000 in damages following the heavy 2017 rains that flooded Tucker Creek.
Water stood "waist high" in the Jones home after the 2017 flood. Jones said he did not have flood insurance at the time, and only received $14,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to repair damages to the Briarwood residence.
Following his experience, Jones said he advises those who believe their homes could be filled with the rising flood waters to take photos of their home before the water seeps in.
Video footage both before and after the flooding could also prove to be beneficial, he said.
It's important to document all costs associated with repairs as well as temporary living expenses during this potentially historic incident.
"Keep lists and receipts of any costs incurred, [FEMA] also helped with hotel reimbursement, and costs associated with storage," Jones said. "Anything you can document and record, please do so. FEMA is thorough when they visit with you after the flooding ends. It may not be a lot of money from them, but it helps lessen the blow."
Residents in the area, if they haven't already, need to gather all of their valuables and place them up high, Jones said. While it may not seem likely to some, flood waters can pour in quickly, filling homes and damaging families' belongings.
"If you don't think it could happen to you, think again," he said. "I never imagined in 2017 it would happen to me because I'm not in a flood zone. But, it did. If you're anywhere near Tucker Creek or anywhere that might flood, ore even areas that haven't flooded before, take precautions. Couches, chairs, mattresses — these are things that can be damaged by flood water. Cheaper wood can also be damaged by water."
Sandbags at no cost to city residents at four locations in Conway:The Conway Transporation Department, located at 100 E. Robins St. Central Fire Station, located at 1401 Caldwell St. Conway Fire Department's Station 4, located at 622 Salem Rd. Conway Fire Department's Station 5, located at 4655 Wescon Lane.
It doesn't look bad in the area yet. However, officials said the area likely will be affected during the flooding incident.
"Stay in tune with local media," Kelly said, adding that the city is posting up-to-date information periodically each day on its various social media accounts.