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73 people Missing after Arkansas floods

Posted by on Jun 12, 2010 | Leave a Comment

In Arkansas, horrific flash floods have killed at least 16 people with another 73 people missing. After torrential rains turned their idyllic campsites on the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers into a flood zone, a frenetic search is underway in Arkansas this morning for dozens of people feared dead. According to Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, calls has been received by it from relatives of about 73 people, who have are missing since flash flooding tore through a federal campground. At-least 16 people were died including some children in the flash flooding. To report their missing loved ones and receive inquiries about 73 people, many of them vacationers from Texas or Louisiana, a call center set up for people. In treetops where the waters rose by eight feet an hour, children’s clothing is left tangled. A usually waist-high river swelled to over 20 feet deep overnight, its banks swamping tents as campers slept inside them. Sturdy RVs and mobile homes were swept away and then discarded by Mother Nature in ruins.

“Raging waters carried away babies in a flash,” said by one survivor. Spokeswoman Renee Preslar said, “That doesn’t necessarily mean all are missing, but that family members have made inquiries,” and “It could be they think they were in the area and haven’t yet been able to reach them.” The death toll had been put by Emergency management officials on Friday at 20, but afterward revised the figure to 16. Beebe told CNN’s “Campbell Brown” show, “Part of the problem is that the registry that would have contained some of the campers’ names washed away in the floodwaters.” He said, “some people camp along the river and tributaries and never sign the registry,” he added, “it could take days to determine how many campers were in the area at the time of the flooding.” During the night, heavy rains caused the normally quiet Caddo and Little Missouri rivers to climb out of their banks. Every seven-and-a-half minutes, water rose at a rate of up to a foot. With such force, the raging torrent poured through the valley to peel asphalt off roads and bark off trees. Cabins were severely damaged by dotting the river banks.

Approximately two dozen people were hospitalized. Before suspending their search at nightfall Friday, authorities rescued dozens more. Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said, “Crews on helicopters, canoes, ATVs and horses would resume at daybreak Saturday.” Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Chad Stover said, “A call center set up for people to report loved ones who may be missing at the campground received inquiries about 73 people Friday.” Stover said late Friday, “We haven’t confirmed if they were at the campsite, but people have called because they believe a loved one may have been there and they can’t locate them,” and “As we begin search and rescue operations tomorrow morning, it will give us a better idea of how many people we may be looking for.” Due to darkness, the search for flood victims was suspended Friday but it is expected to start again at daylight on Saturday. Whitney Bettis, who was relieved to hear that her aunt and uncle survived the overnight flood said, “The secluded campground has been frequented by generations of families who have returned to the cabins each year for decades.”

Video of Arkansas floods 16 people with another 73 people missing from youtube:


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