Faulkner County residents have come together to help a couple new to the area save their Treasure Hills home from the rising flood waters.
Trina and Bryan Hargett got married May 3. The two moved into a residence along Stanford Road, just off Highway 65, about two weeks ago.
Five other homes that are located beyond the Hargett residence have filled with water and "are ruined," County Attorney David Hogue said. However, despite the tragedy that has struck the Treasure Hills community, neighbors and other residents from across the county have banded together in an effort to save the Hargett's home.
"Everybody [around here] said this area never fills up like this," Hogue told the Log Cabin Democrat. "All the houses past this point [the Hargett residence] are completely submerged."
One woman who has lived in the area for eight years confirmed her neighborhood has seen flooding before "but nothing like this."
"We've helped neighbors fill sandbags through other floods. This is not our first rodeo," Treasure Hills resident Jaki Plouch said. "But, this is the biggest by far."
Plouch lives just across the street from the Hargetts. In an attempt to help those wading through the high waters and building a sandbag perimeter around the Hargett residence, Plouch set up a table filled with sandwiches and cold drinks.
"There's so many volunteers, and I'm so thankful," she said. "People we don't know are just showing up and helping. They don't know anyone here and [the Hargetts] are just in shock that so many people are coming in to help them. They're impressed."
Trina said the support she and her husband have received over the past three days is uplifting and encouraging.
While she had a fair warning upon moving in that the area likely would flood, Trina said she and her husband held out as long as they could so their neighbors further down the street could protect their homes first. Those living down the street faced larger risks of flooding, she said.
After the other homes began filling with water, she and her husband knew it was time to get to work.
"We didn’t want to be that guy, but we waited as long as we could until Thursday because we knew there were people further down the road that needed the resources more than we did. We wanted them to be able to save their homes if they could, and then we got up Thursday morning and thought, maybe we should call the chief," Tina said.
Beaverfork Fire Chief Dennis Hutchinson, who previously warned the couple of the imminent flood waters, was prepared when the two admitted Thursday that they needed help.
"The chief said they had been by the night before or earlier that morning and already started coordinating," Tina said. "They knew we were going to need it."
Plouch's children were among the volunteers helping to save the Hargett residence.
In her years living near the East Fork Cadron Creek, she said she "never would have dreamed" this flood possible.
While the center of focus has been to save the Hargett residence, the couple said the limelight belongs to each and every individual (ranging from county employees to passersby) who have stopped and taken time to help a couple new to the area.
"This is not about us, this is about the entire community," Trina said. "It’s about the volunteers, the fire department. We’ve been here two weeks Thursday. Nobody knew us from Adam."
By Saturday afternoon, around 10,000 sandbags surrounded the Hargett residence. The couple's family helped them to get all of their belongings about 1.5-2 feet off the floor inside their home, and volunteers were bringing in trailers full of sandbags that they would empty into boats. Volunteers wading through the high waters used small boats to haul sandbags from trailers along the roadway up to the barrier surrounding the couple's home.
The Army National Guard, who met with the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office alongside Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Saturday, was posted at the end of the Treasure Hills subdivision by the afternoon.
The troops were deployed to affected areas along the Arkansas River to assist officials with flood relief.
Sixteen counties across state are affected by the historic 2019 Arkansas River Flood.