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Jun 14, 2010 12:46 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

20th body found in Arkansas flooding disaster

Searchers found the 20th victim from last week's flash flooding at a southwest Arkansas campground, state police said Monday.

Spokesman Bill Sadler did not say whether it was an adult or a child. Eighteen of the 20 victims have been identified.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe, said volunteers will continue searching throughout the day, even though it's unclear whether anyone is still missing from the Albert Pike Recreation Area.

Flash floods pushed a torrent of water through the campsite on the edge of the Ouachita National Forest before dawn, killing at least 20 people.

No one has been found alive since Friday.

Floodwaters rose as swiftly as 8 feet per hour, pouring through the remote valley with such force that they peeled asphalt from roads. Cabins along the river banks were severely damaged, and mobile homes were tossed on their sides.

Forecasters had warned of the approaching danger in the area during the night, but campers could easily have missed the advisories because the area is isolated.

Fifty miles of river and tributaries have been combed at least twice by search crews, some places three or four times, said Forest Service Incident Commander Mike Quesinberry. But the terrain has made it impossible to bring in heavy equipment to unlock some of the piles. One measured 30 feet high and more than 100 feet long, he said.

 

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