by Max Brantley
Bad day for Arkansas. The rest is up to you.
NEWS UPDATE: Mike Beebe statement on flooding is on the jump.
A Facebook page reports on a family searching for a 7-year-old daughter.
BEEBE NEWS RELEASE
Governor Mike Beebe this evening declared Montgomery and Pike Counties disaster areas in the aftermath of the deadly flash flooding of the Little Missouri River. At this hour, 16 people are confirmed dead, with others still missing.
Beebe toured some of the flooded campsites where the water had already receded, and visited with survivors and victims' families.
"I"ve seen flooding before, but I’ve never seen water do this kind of damage," Beebe said. "While this tragedy occurred in Arkansas, many of these campers were visiting us from Louisiana and Texas, and our hearts go out to everyone who lost loved ones. We are continuing the search over a wide area and offering whatever help we can to the families of all these victims."
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) has opened a phone bank to collect information about possible missing persons. Those with information can call 1-888-683-2336 until 10:00 tonight, and from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Federal, State and Local authorities continue their search over an approximate 25-mile stretch along the banks of the Little Missouri.
A multi-agency media briefing will occur at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday at ADEM headquarters at Camp Robinson. Media wishing to take part should be at the Camp Robinson main gate on Military Road by 1:45 p.m.