As you probably remember, George and I went to Arkansas in March. The first place we visited was the beautiful Ouachita Mountains in southwestern Arkansas. We were searching for waterfalls (which we found). We totally fell in love with that beautiful rustic area of Arkansas. Before going any farther with today's post, please click HERE and glance through our pictures from that trip.
We passed by the neatest campground (Albert Pike Recreation Area) on our way up the mountain. I remarked at the time what a neat campground that was. There are various creeks plus two rivers in that area (the Caddo River and the Little Missouri River). WELL--this past Friday, heavy rains caused the normally quiet rivers to climb out of their banks during the night. Around dawn, floodwaters barreled through the Albert Pike Recreation Area, a 54-unit campground that was packed with vacationing families who were probably still asleep when their tents began to fill with water.
The rivers rose from 3.5 feet to over 23.5 feet between midnight and 6 a.m. The toll from this horrible flash flood rose on Sunday to NINETEEN as a grim search through remote woodland turned up another body. Police would not give the sex or age of the latest victim, but six young children and twelve adults were already known to have perished, swept from their beds in the dead of night by a lethal torrent of water.
They don't know exactly how many others are missing --but bodies have been recovered as much as 8 miles downstream from the campground. This has been so sad for me I guess because we were just there ---and I have a special love for people who enjoy camping and hiking. All but two of the victims came from out-of-state to camp and hike and fish in the rugged beauty of the national forest, located near the Ozark Mountains.
I pulled a few pictures of the flood from the internet and will share them with you below. Please pray for the families of all of the victims. This freak flood is just horrible to think about.
You can tell how powerful that water was. Those vehicles were batted around like toys. One time when my first husband and our boys and I were camping in the Smokies, we had some extremely heavy rain ---and had to move our camp sight away from the creek. But-- other than getting wet, we didn't have any problems like they had in Arkansas. Mother Nature can do some unbelievable things, can't she?????
Again, I ask you to remember those victims and their families.
Bet it will be a long time before those gravel roads which George and I traveled on in that area will be accessible again. I'm sure the roads have been washed out... What a shame---the whole tragedy!
P.S. Be sure and read George's Senior Moments blog today. It is excellent I think. Click HERE.