Miller County residents collect bottled water for SWAR flood victims

Community

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Some areas in southwest Arkansas are still dealing with the effects of flooding from severe weather earlier this week.

After hearing water was needed in some areas of Howard County, residents in Miller County sprung into action, bringing bottles of water to help their Arkansas neighbors in need.

The donations are in response to a social media post Thursday night by Miller County Judge Cathy Harrison that shared the need.

“I never would’ve dreamed we’d have gotten this much,” said Harrison, “but I shouldn’t be surprised because Miller County, Texarkana, USA, are some of the most big-hearted, generous people you will ever meet.”

Flooding damaged low-lying areas throughout Howard County, including breaking the main water line in Dierks twice this week. The city’s boil order was lifted mid-Friday.

Dierks Mayor Ronnie Cogburn said he’s thankful for all the support and the donated water will be doled out to volunteers helping to clean up the city. He said the water will also be shared with neighboring Nashville, where residents were also impacted by the storms.

The destruction caused by the flooding in these cities inspired Miller County residents to want to reach out and help.

“Arkansans are renowned for banding together and helping each other in times of need,” said Stephanie Barrett, prosecuting attorney for the Eighth Judicial District. “I’m proud to be an Arkansan and to see the efforts like this.”

Residents unloaded cases of water for the cause.

“We know that if we needed it in this area, others would be responding for us,” said Carl Teel, road department administrator for Miller County. “And, so we just feel like that’s a part of being a good citizen.”

The extreme heat put in perspective how important it is to have water readily available.

“We’ve been drinking a lot of water just loading it, so you know they’re needing water,” said Ronnie Dancer, road permit officer for Miller County. “Think about how much you go through a day with your water individually, so think about the whole community.”

“To think about having to clean up your homes and offices in this heat without water is just unthinkable,” said Barrett.

Neighbors helping neighbors through a difficult time.

We grew up in a small town, so we know how close-knit a community like that can be,” said Gracie Pendergraft. “And it’s a really good thing that Texarkana can come like this and do something like this for them.”

Thousands of bottles of water were donated throughout Friday.

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