In the early hours of Friday morning, many sleeping campers in the remote Albert Pike recreation area were awakened by screams of people trying to escape a freak flash flood that hit the area like a raging tsunami.
The park is in the Ouachita National Forest 6 miles from Langley, Arkansas.
According the Arkansas Emergency Management agency, the disaster left 16 people dead, including children, and many people (last count was 40) missing. Dozens of people have been rescued and at least 10 people were taken to local hospitals.
Governor Beebe said the registration records at some areas of the park were washed away. Also, there were numerous places along the 20 mile area, where people camped out with tents. Estimates of 200-300 campers in the area could not be confirmed.