Bossier Family narrowly escapes Arkansas flooding

By Fred Childers – bio|email

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) –  Chuck Metz, his kids, Shelly Smith and her kids are thankful to be home in Bossier City Friday afternoon.

And they're even more thankful to be alive after a camping trip to Albert Pike Arkansas - the pictures chuck took shows why.

"There were hundreds of people in that campsite," said Metz.

Chuck, his family and friends were directly in the path of what would become a deadly flash flood.

The difference between life and death for them would be a chance look outside the tent.

"My son and Garret here stood up and looked out and he goes dad our coolers are floating away," said Metz.

So they loaded up in the hummer, and within seconds the danger became apparent.

"Well, I went ahead and zipped up the tent, and by the timeI got that done I got in the truck, it had gone from being ankle deep to almost to my knee," said Metz.

Driving out of the campsite would be even more dangerous.

The kids all admitted to being terrified.

A nearby bridge was already covered with the violent currents as they made their way out of the camp.

"So we had to back up and there was a little road that went up the hillside and we drove up the hillside there was only one other car ahead of us," said Metz.

But mudslides forced them to take another route.

They eventually made it out of the area - with only minutes to spare.

"There were people behind us that when we were coming out they were getting washed back, hitting into cars," said Smith.

The pictures show more than the strength of Mother Nature, it shows families being taken by surprise, and these are snapshots of chuck and Shelly's fate had the kids not looked outside.

"The people that died were probably the ones that were asleep," said Metz.

Ankle deep water turned into a raging river in minutes- leaving dozens of people missing, and sixteen dead.

"We've prayed, we prayed a lot, we prayed for those families," said Smith.

"It's a bad feeling let me tell you," said Metz.

The terrifying event left the two Bossier City families forever thinking about fellow campers that didn't see it coming.

©2009 ksla-tv. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.