LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP, KTHV) - The U.S. Forest Service is considering banning overnight camping at the Albert Pike Campgrounds. It's part of a list of proposals being presented to the public. The Forest Service says that deadly flood on June 10, 2010 sparked this proposal.
Since then, the U.S. Forest Service closed the campground to overnight use. Now, it is considering that a permanent policy. Business for Janice McRae plummeted after that disaster. She owns Lowery's Camp Albert Pike equipped with a convenience store and cabins. If the government closes down the overnight camping, it could essentially close Lowery's down.
"In the grand scheme of things, it's a totally different type of loss. These people's lives were lost and that cannot be replaced," says McRae.
Other proposed changes include removing remaining structures and closing the bathhouse. Restricting it to daytime use, McRae says park goers would drive right on by her store.
"We are what you call a forgot store or what you need overnight or what the coons ate last night," says McRae.
A memorial sits on her property for the victims. As she reflects, it's not just the debate over the campground that weighs heavy on her mind, it's the lives that were lost.
"That is when I'll start crying if you remind me of that," says McRae.
The Forest Service is asking the public to comment on this proposal. The Forest Service says it now has better data on the flood susceptibility and a flood warning system is not a viable approach to alleviate the risk of flash flood.
The proposal can be found here: Albert Pike Recreation Area