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‘We need help’

While Sunday’s flash flood didn’t impact much of Maumelle, that didn’t matter to the 24 family families in The Gables apartment complex homeless after high waters forced them out of their homes and without a place to sleep.

Those residents showed in mass on Monday night at the Maumelle City Council and demanded answers from Mayor Mike Watson and the aldermen.

This was the second time in three years that the apartment complex had flooded after a heavy rains.

The last time was in 2011, said Michelle Cook, the regional manager for the company that manages the complex on the north side of town.

“In 2011, we lost 60 families,” Cook said of those past residents forced to leave. “This time we lost 24 families.”

The flooding was contained to the first floor apartments but, Cook added, the complex didn’t have the capacity on the second floor to house all those displaced and some were left homeless as a result.

“The Red Cross was out there,” Watson said and he added that no residents took them up on their offer to sleep at the Community Center.

Residents in attendance at the meeting said they weren’t aware of the offer and that all the Red Cross had done was hand out bottles of water.

Watson told those in attendance that the Community Center could again be opened up on Monday for those needing a place to sleep but none in attendance said they would go.

The flash flood took people by surprise as Watson said measuring stations in Maumelle record between 5 and 6 inches of rain and left people up to their waists in water.

“We had cars floating in the parking lot,” Cook said. “Please do something. We need your help.”

Efforts have already begun to raise funds and needed supplies for those in the Gables and others who might have been impacted.

Watson said he had spoken to the Pulaski County Emergency Management office and the city had begun the process to see if residents qualified for FEMA assistance.

In the meantime, “I know that our city will reach out and do everything they can,” Watson said as Maumelle had done for residents of Mayflower and Vilonia they were hit by a tornado earlier this spring.

Discussion of the flooding and what do to took up the bulk of the meeting at nearly two.

In scant other business, the Council approved a measure to look at combining the City Services Fee with the water bill from Maumelle Water Management.

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