DUMAS, Ark. – In Dumas, the floodwaters have dried up but the lasting damage is here to stay.
No one knows that better than local businesses, who are struggling to stay open with heavy water damage.
For eight years, the Dumas Inn has welcome visitors to Desha County, keeping its doors open even after a hotel-halting pandemic.
But then, disaster swept it. Nearly half a foot of water covered their parking lot after heavy rains, with most of that ending up inside.
“It went in all the downstairs rooms,” said Prachi Patel, one of the inn’s owners, “and we have to switch out all the carpets.”
The flooding damaged the carpets, furniture, and even the walls of 25 total rooms – making half of the Inn’s space uninhabitable.
“We can’t rent the downstairs rooms,” added Pryti Patel.
As soon as the water appeared, it vanished. But the lasting impacts won’t dry up. The extensive damage isn’t covered by their insurance, meaning the repairs all have to be paid for out-of-pocket.
“Not a lot of floods happen here in Dumas,” explained Prachi, “so we never got any flooding insurance.”
Now, the owners are waiting for help to arrive in the form of a cleaning crew as the long process of recovery begins. But the Dumas Inn isn’t alone – many other businesses on highway 65 have had to deal with the flooding of their own.
For right now, the Patels say they just have to wait for a cleaning crew to replace the carpets and furniture, and stick to renting at 50% capacity for the foreseeable future.