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Arkansas Floodwaters Submerge Campground, Killing 16

Posted by feww on June 12, 2010

Flash floods swept through campground in Arkansas, killing at least 16, injuring 20, with 30 others reported missing, officials said.

A tsunami-like wave, caused by torrential rains that inundated the Little Missouri River to about 7 meters (20  feet), drowned the victims as they slept in their tents at the Albert Pike campground in the Ouachita Mountains west of Little Rock, according to reports.

A river gauge near the Ouachita National Forest registered a rise of about  2.4m (8ft) in just one hour, the US Geological Survey said.

At least 6 children are believed to be among the dead, as 65 people were rescued from the Ouachita Mountains valley.

The National Weather Service said 193mm (7.6in) of rain had fallen overnight.

“As that river goes down, you don’t know how many people are under it,”  Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said.

This tragedy bears close resemblance to Colorado’s Big Thompson Canyon flood disaster in 1976 in which 145 people were killed.

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