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New 18-year-old mayor of Earle, Arkansas, faces flash floods in first week of office



Little Rock, Arkansas – Earle, Arkansas, has had Jaylen Smith, the youngest black mayor in the nation at only 18 years old, as its mayor for six days.

Flash floods brought on by earlier this week’s rain presented Smith with his first challenge as mayor this week.

According to the residents of Earle, he is already having a beneficial effect in his new position as mayor.

Tuesday’s torrential rains caused flash floods in the town and its surroundings.

The Smith administration took immediate action by cleaning the debris out of the streets and drainage systems.

“This mayor came in, he knew the situation,” said Billy Murray, a resident of Earle and Smith’s high school coach and health teacher.

The home of Murray is close to a major flooding-prone crossroads.

“I think he walked out of his office and looked down here and seen how much water it was. Next day when the water was down, they were down here cleaning it out. So, I’m proud of him, impressed with him. But that’s what I like about him. What he say he’s going to do, he going try to do or he’s going to make a hell of an effort trying to do it. So, I know he’s a good thing for Earle,” Murray said.

“I called all my department heads to make sure, what are they doing to make sure that those flood zones are down. That the drainage is clean. What are we doing to make sure our citizens are safe,” Smith said.

“And so what we did to get rid of the issue, we cleaned out our drainage across the city–and the spots that is flooded the most, so the next time it rains, those same problems won’t occur again. We make sure–now daily–that our drains are clean,” he said.

Next week, according to Mayor Smith, he will begin implementing his 100-day plan, which will center on stray dogs, stray cats, abandoned homes, city ordinances, public safety, and roadway maintenance.

“This is my hometown, I would never leave Earle. Earle is my heart, my home,” said Smith. “I would rather be here in Earle than anywhere else.”