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Family Narrowly Escapes Campsite Flooding

May 21, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

A family of nine was stranded after flash floods washed away their campground in Franklin County near Ozark, Ark., late Wednesday (May 19), according to KHBS-KHOG Northwest Arkansas.

The three adults and six children escaped uninjured but they’re working to clean up the campsite near Shores Lake.

Kenneth Barker said he and his family were expecting to enjoy an early Memorial Day camping trip, but didn’t expect to wind up in the middle of a flash flood.

“Our campsite was right there until 12, or 12:30 last night, when the waters came in and washed us away,” Barker said.

He said the flood came very suddenly.

“We were dead asleep and then the next thing we know, the tent started feeling like a water bed,” Barker said.

Their cars were submerged in the rushing water, leaving the family no choice but to run out of the campsite. They hiked for 10 miles until Franklin County deputies were able to rescue them.

“Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is real good,” Barker said. “They’re the ones that gave us a ride home and took care of the kids, getting them warm.”

Park manager Vernon Brown said the Barker family is lucky to be alive.

“If that water would have gotten hold of the cars, they’d have been gone,” Brown said. “If those kids had gotten in, they’d have been sure enough gone. It would have drowned them.

Barker spent the day salvaging what he could from his vehicles and camping equipment. He said he’s just thankful that everyone is OK.

“A little cold, a little tired, a little shaken up, but other than that, everybody’s good,” Barker said.

Brown said he warns people to stay away from the Blue Hole area of the Shores Lake Campgrounds when it’s raining because the lakes and streams can quickly pose a serious flood risk.

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