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Campgrounds at the Albert Pike Recreation Area in western Arkansas reopened for day use Thursday morning (May 24).

The U.S. Forestry Commission closed the campgrounds after 20 people drowned in a flash flood in June 2010. It has been almost two years since the area was open to the public, KSLA-TV, Shreveport, La., reported

The co-owner of Lowery’s Camp at Albert Pike, Janice McRae, says her family has leased private land to cabin owners at Albert Pike for five generations. McRae says Thursday was the first day she had been in her office since the flood. She says business in and around Albert Pike have suffered over the past months. “When camp Albert Pike is open, that helps us here in the store. It helps our cabins (owners) to know when they come up here they will be able to go swimming in the Little Missouri River at the swimming hole. And it also help surrounding businesses,” says McRae.

Cabin Owner Chris Wilcox says he and his family were notified about the reopening by e-mail. “My wife and two girls were coming up and the first thing we wanted to do was just drive through,” says Wilcox. The family traveled from Haughton to visit their cabin on the Little Missouri River. “We were excited because we like to go to the swimming hole and go swim and just have a good time together,” says Wilcox’s wife, Lauren.

McRae and others say although the area is reopened for business, what happened during the summer of 2010 will never be forgotten.