Father of four scared of ‘failure’ after home damaged during historic flood

Local News

CONWAY, Ark. – Jesse Cantu and his family are flooding survivors.

Cantu has been staying in the American Red Cross shelter in Conway for about two weeks.

“I’ve never been in a shelter before,” says Cantu.

Cantu hasn’t been able to go home, which is located near Toad Suck, because the water took it over.

Jesse, his wife and their kids- aged seven, six, three and six months- are calling the Conway shelter their temporary home.

“It’s really tough when you have children and you’re going through this — that’s what hurts me the most,” says Cantu.

He says his kids ask him every day if it’s the day to go home. The father of four doesn’t know how bad the damage is yet, but leans on faith there’s something left to go home to eventually.

“When things get worse, things are just going to get better eventually,” says Cantu.

Cantu says his father taught him to remain hopeful during tough times.

He’s set up a gaming center to keep his kids busy since they are on summer vacation while the Red Cross provides the essentials.

“They have all the stuff we need,” says Cantu.

The Red Cross is helping with daily meals and medical care.

Cantu says he moved from Texas, working on farms, to Arkansas for a better paying job at Olive Garden.

He hopes he can stay.

“I try and make a place here instead of living in Texas, try and do things on my own. I don’t want to go back to Texas knowing I’m a failure, so I’m going to try and do my best to do this here,” says Cantu.

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