Saturday, June 12, 2010

Search for Arkansas flood victims goes from frantic to grim

Andrew Demillo and Chuck Bartels in the Associated Press: The search for nearly two dozen people who disappeared after flash floods swept through a popular campground went from desperate to grim on Saturday, after teams that scoured miles of river and rugged wilderness found just two bodies.

…Police haven't said when they would call off the search efforts, and crews were expected to break once night fell and to resume at daybreak Sunday.

Authorities initially feared there were many more people unaccounted for. A register that would have showed who was staying at the campground was washed away in the flood, and a call center fielded inquiries about 73 people who hadn't been accounted for as of Friday night.

…Floodwaters rose as swiftly as 8 feet per hour, poring through the remote valley with such force that it peeled asphalt from roads and bark off trees. Cabins dotting the river banks were severely damaged, and mobile homes lay on their sides. Forecasters had warned of the approaching danger in the area during the night, but campers could easily have missed those advisories because the area is isolated….

A blank Arkansas highway shield

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