Flooding closes popular Little Rock eatery

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When employees of the popular eatery, “The Rail Yard” clocked in this morning, the focus was on preparing for the lunch shift. But co-owner Linda Newbern says she knew something was wrong the moment the skies opened up.

“It really started to rain hard,” Newbern explained, who was monitoring security cameras of the restaurant at home when the rain began.

It only took about an hour between the start of the flooding and the receding of the waters, but in that time their outdoor courtyard was flooded, with some parts sitting under nearly 4 feet of water. 

“The water doesn’t have anywhere to go,” said Newbern, “and so it just gathers right here under the bridge, it comes into The Rail Yard, and it just got really high really fast.” The flash flooding was so powerful that heavy wooden benches and chairs floated out into the street, forcing the closure of the restaurant only one hour after opening.

They remained closed for the rest of Wednesday.

Newbern says this freak weather occurrence isn’t new for the outdoor eatery. “It’s happened a number of times,” she said. She blames outdated drains for the flooding and worries about similar events happening in the future, especially with new construction in the area.

“These drains just can’t handle it, and the more building that goes on here – we have a coffee shop, we have new condos coming up – you know it’s not going to get any better.”

For now, The Rail Yard is focused on mopping up and drying out in preparation for the lunch shift tomorrow. “We’re already cleaning up,” Newbern assured customers, “we’ve got power washers coming tomorrow, we hope it’ll just be spick and span and sanitized and ready to roll.”

You can check out The Rail Yard here and on social media.

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