JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Residents who live in southwest Jonesboro experienced a damaging weather event Monday when nearly three and a half inches of rain fell in a span of 30 minutes. The rain caused heavy flooding in and around Southwest Village on the intersection of Southwest Drive and Culberhouse.
"It just was raining. A customer came through and said that our cars were floating outside. We looked out and by that time, it was about thigh deep and your car was nose down floating through the parking lot," said Shanna Cline, who works at Iberia Bank.
Cline owns a 2005 Nissan Altima. When she looked out the back door of the bank, she noticed the back end of her car was floating in the high water.
"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Cline.
Region 8 News was at the scene Tuesday morning as cleanup crews continued working in the area. A manager of Iberia Bank said they were sweeping water and debris out of the building into the early morning hours Tuesday.
"We turned around and it started rushing through the back door. We started having to put the power cords in the trash cans because they were all in the floor. Then we ran out of the bank because the power was still on," said Cline.
The flooding came as a result of an isolated thunderstorm at around 4:00 pm. Cline and several other witnesses said 4 cars were heavily damaged. Other cars got water damage in the floorboards.
"It's dead. It won't start. The lights were flashing. The windows rolled down. The trunk popped open," said Cline. "Everything that was in the floorboard or in the console floated out into the seats."
According to an employee of Iberia who has worked near Southwest Village for 12 years, this was the first rain event where water reached into the building. She said water was three inches deep.
"She said it's never been in the bank. It's been up to the curb, but that's it," said Cline. "Never in a million years, and the dealership told me to buy GAP insurance. I was kind of hesitant, but I'm glad I did. It's going to pay it off."
Martha Heady has owned Healthy Solutions in Southwest Village for three years. She said water started entering her business, but stopped shortly after the rain ended.
"It was just that the ditch out there wouldn't hold water and it just came down too fast. All of the cars out there got flooded and it came inside the building," said Heady. "It was unbelievable. When Glenda called me and told me that her car was under water, it was up to her doors and it was coming in the store. The store was getting flooded."
When asked if the city should have done something prior to the flooding, everyone Region 8 News spoke with said no one was to blame. They said it was a storm that dumped too much water in a short period of time and it wouldn't have mattered how well things were with drainage.
"I think the ditches just couldn't hold water. It came too fast and it came all at once," said Heady. "You couldn't drive over five miles an hour and you had to have your windshield wipers on high. You were just barely moving."
Heady said many people are out thousands of dollars and no longer have means of transportation.
"The girl that works for me, her car was up to the doors. Some of the cars closer to the bank, they were up to the hoods," said Heady. "It was just mainly in this one area. The outside areas were okay. Like, down there at the video store (Movie Gallery). I parked behind the video store. That was all dry."