Nine Dead, Two Missing After Major Flash Flooding In Arizona

At least nine people are dead and one person missing after a flash flood hit an Arizona swimming hole on Saturday afternoon, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix reports. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said a total of nine bodies were recovered throughout the day on Sunday. The ninth victim found was a 2-year-old. Agencies are still searching for a missing 13-year-old boy.

The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to a search and rescue call at about 3 p.m. after heavy rains caused flash flooding near the Cold Springs swimming hole north of Payson.


Authorities said 14 people were swimming in the area and were swept away in the flash flood. Multiple agencies responded to aid the department’s search and rescue efforts.


The sheriff’s office said on Facebook that First Crossing and Second Crossing on Houston Mesa Road as well as Waterwheel are closed.

Gov. Doug Ducey responded to the deaths in a statement posted to Facebook.


“Deepest prayers for those lost in the Gila County tragedy, for their families and the entire community. I just spoke with Sheriff Shepherd. In addition to the state of Arizona providing full air support, we will continue to assist in all ways possible,” Ducey said.


The storm also caused damage to buildings and knocked over power lines, resulting in power outages across the state, KPHO-TV reports.


More than 3,200 Arizona Public Service customers were without power Saturday evening. Nearly 2,500 customers in Sun City and 800 customers in Peoria were also without power. Power was restored later on Saturday.


The storm also caused trees to topple over. Strong winds picked up and threw several trampolines from their yards.

One home in Peoria was reduced to a pile of sticks.




Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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