Arkansas Flash Floods Kill at Least 20

Victims were near popular campgrounds in Little Rock area
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2010 10:34 AM CDT
Updated Jun 11, 2010 4:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Floodwaters that rose as swiftly as 8 feet an hour rushed into a remote Arkansas valley early today, killing at least 20 people, many of them campers who became trapped by a devastating wall of water. Dozens more are missing and feared dead. Around dawn, floodwaters barreled through a campground in the Ouachita National Forest that was packed with vacationing families, who were probably still asleep when their tents began to fill with water. Two dozen people were hospitalized. Authorities rescued 60 others.

Heavy rains had caused the normally quiet Caddo and Little Missouri rivers to climb out of their banks during the night. Water poured through the valley with such force that it overturned RVs, peeled asphalt off roads, and swept away tents and their occupants. The waters quickly began to recede, and anguished relatives pleaded with emergency workers for help finding missing loved ones. "We don't know who was in there last night," a state police spokesman said. "This is a very wide area."

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