Two Ark counties declared disaster areas. DHS sets up hotline

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe has declared Montgomery and Pike counties disaster areas due to the flash flood that killed 16 people and damaged homes, farms and roads. The governor toured the affected areas Friday and declared the disaster in the early evening.

Rescue crews are still working to find people who are missing. That effort is to be suspended at dark and is to resume in the morning. Beebe says he has seen the aftermath of flooding before but says that he's never seen the kind of damage that the raging water did in Montgomery and Pike counties.

The governor says some of the victims are from Louisiana and Texas. He says his heart goes out to those who lost loved ones.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management has set up a toll-free phone number for relatives of people missing in a flash flood in western Arkansas that killed 16 people. The number is 888-683-2336 and will be open until 10 p.m. CDT Friday. The line will be active on Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Emergency officials say the line is to gather information on people believed to be missing in the flood that ripped through parts of Montgomery and Pike counties.

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