After the flash flooding at Albert Pike park rangers in Northwest Arkansas are reevaluating their own emergency response system.
“It’s a good time to reflect on that, go through some safety equipment that we have, radios, make sure everything is working,” said Alan Bland, Park Ranger for Beaver Lake.
The lake has more than 600 camp sites spread out among 50 miles of shoreline.
Rhonda Welkley is camping with her six grandchildren at War Eagle. She said they are being extra cautious after see the flooding at Albert Pike.
“We’re usually on the river over there and we figured with all the rain we’d be safer, bring the grandkids and come over here that way we’ll be higher up, not have to worry about it,” said Welkley.
However, Beaver Lake has had their own flooding issues in the past. Rangers recommend all campers have a cell phone or radio to stay alert to weather reports. The rangers are also in constant communication with the National Weather Service. They’ll force campers to evacuate if there’s an emergency.
“In our vehicle we have a PA speaker so we can go through the camp ground, three to four in the morning, ‘hey evacuate you need to get out,'” said Bland.
At Horseshoe Bend some camp sites are closed because the water level is too high. Julie Foster parked her family camper just a few feet from the lake. She said she likes the beauty and convenience of being next to the water, but you have to be responsible.
“You have to keep it real serious, it’s not something simple, a life can be lost real fast, real easy,” said Foster. “We had our grandchildren over one night, knew it was going to storm, sent them on home.”
Unlike Albert Pike, if an emergency were to occur the park knows exactly how many campers they’re responsible for.
“We have their name, address, phone number, their cell phone number, we know what site they’re in, when they’re coming, when they’re leaving, we have the vehicle tag number,” said Bland.