Flash floods have swept through a campground in Arkansas, killing at least 16 people as they slept and leaving an estimated 73 missing.
A wall of water, triggered by heavy rains that swelled the Little Missouri River to 20 feet, caught victims asleep in their tents at the Albert Pike campground in the Ouachita Mountains west of Little Rock.
The death toll hit 16, according to a spokesman for Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, who travelled to the scene of the flooding.
One survivor expressed horror at the fact that children were among the dead.
"I got a bunch of boo-boos and stuff but it ain't got nothing compared to the little babies that were screaming hard in the river, 'Help me, Help me.' We just couldn't reach them, we had to climb about forty feet in a tree to save our own lives. We were just clinging on to dear life," Angela Chris said.
Television images showed cabins reduced to rubble and mobile homes and vehicles overturned by the waters.
"The quickness that a flash flood comes up no you its unbelievable. It's probably the scariest thing I've ever been in, in my life. We lost everything, all our tents, grills. We were lucky to get out with our lives. My heart goes out to the family and people that lost, " said survivor Chad Banks.
Authorities are using boats and helicopters to search the remote area for survivors.
There are thought to have been up to 300 people in the camp ground.