At least seven dead after flooding in Arizona


At least nine people have drowned while swimming in an Arizona river when they became overwhelmed by flash flooding following heavy rains in the drought-stricken region.

They have not been named by authorities. Disa exclaimed on the video. His wife was a short way away, also clinging to a tree. A boy Alexander described as the couple's son was on the rocks above the water.

Alexander and others tried to reach them but couldn't. Sheriff's were able to rescue four of those fourteen members later that day, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Department.

Emergency responders rescued four people Saturday south of the Cold Springs swimming hole where the group had been swimming, including a man clutching a baby.

Hornung said most members of the group were from the Phoenix area, which, along with the rest of southern Arizona, has experienced inordinately hot temperatures this summer.

The dead were all from one family from Phoenix, the Republic reports. The group - comprised of hikers in their 40s and 50s - had set out on their trek hours before a flash-flood warning prompted park officials to close the canyons. "There is no cell phone service out here".

"So there were tree limbs and stumps and sticks, and the water was black with the soot and the ash of the fire", Hornung said.

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"They had no warning", Sattelmaier told the Associated Press.

Beaver Valley residents, who live downstream, said they heard a rumble and saw a wall of debris roar down the normally calm stream.

"It's monsoon season in Arizona and these storms build quickly and dump a lot of moisture", Hornung explained.

This happened Saturday afternoon at about 3:19 p.m.

Incidentally, loss of lives in flash floods is not new.

Tonto National Forest is one of the largest national forests in the United States, covering nearly three million acres. A 13-year-old boy is still missing. "We've just been lucky something like this hasn't been this tragic", Sattelmaier said. He didn't have updated numbers of missing but said the state would take over the search operation on Monday. It is just upstream on Ellison Creek from Water Wheel, a larger area.