Flash Flood Kills 9, Mostly Kids, at Arizona Swimming Hole; Man Missing

Evrard Martin
Juillet 17, 2017

An Arizona sheriff's office said on Sunday at least nine people had died in flash flooding and others were missing after a wall of water swept through a popular swimming hole inside Tonto National Forest.

More than 100 people were thought to have been at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole in Tonto National Forest when the flood struck on Saturday afternoon.

The hikers included two people from the US, seven from France, one from Britain and one from Switzerland, officials said at the time.

The remaining missing person was earlier described as a 13-year-old boy. The recovery was almost two miles down the river from the swimming hole and the victims included a 60-year-old woman and a two-year-old girl. Authorities did not identify them.

At least a dozen people are still missing, while four were rescued and taken to hospital by helicopter for hypothermia treatment.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a flash flood watch that continues through Monday evening for the southern and central regions of Arizona.

Ellison Creek flooded the narrow canyon where the family members were swimming.

Gila County Sheriff's Detective David Hornung said that the group was from Phoenix.

"They had no warning".

At least nine people were killed when flash flooding hit an Arizona swimming hole.

Flood waters seen in Arizona, US, after heavy rainfall. It happens every year.

"It was kind of frightening to have that feeling in the back of your head, there could be people out here needing to be saved and not much you can do about it", Alexander said.

She spotted a man holding a baby and clinging to a tree.

"Normally it's just a trickle of a creek, but during the monsoon season it can go from a foot deep to 10 feet deep in a matter of minutes", he said.

The flooding came after a severe thunderstorm pounded down on a nearby remote area that had been burned by a recent wildfire, Sattelmaier said. Visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather, he said. "We had some concerns". When Nancy tried to find a way out, it got worse. They likely had no way of knowing a thunderstorm was touching off a flood upstream.

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