World Media

Arizona swimming hole flash flood: 8 dead, 2 missing

Arizona swimming hole flash flood: 8 dead, 2 missing

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.

Gila County Sheriff's Detective David Hornung told The Associated Press that all of the victims were among a group of 14 family and friends from the Phoenix and Flagstaff areas who had met up for a daytrip along the popular Cold Springs swimming hole. Four others were found on Saturday and two people remain missing.

On Sunday, deputies are continuing to search for one other person who remains missing. They were able to rescue him and three more people.

Search resumes for missing man after deadly flash flood in Arizona
Arizona swimming hole flash flood: 8 dead, 2 missing

The prospect of brewing monsoon thunderstorms and the deep burn scar over the ground that had charred away the pine trees, foliage and ground dust that would normally absorb rain were such a concern that the National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning about an hour and a half before emergency crews were called to the scene.

Authorities said Gordon and Kathy Chapple of Walnut Creek, California, had been hiking in the canyon with their children when the flood hit. "We don't believe there's anybody left out there", said Medical District Fire chief Ron Sattelmaier. Monsoon storms are expected into the middle of the week.

Heavy rain in the area resulted in flash floods.

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On Sunday, police said it was hard to know how many more people were missing since they do not know exactly how many were swimming in the hole when the floods occurred. It happens every year.

A park ranger said at the time that the flooding went from a "trickle to a wall" of water.

"We were just there to have a good time, and the next thing you know, all you see is this big flash flood", she said.

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Crowds looking to beat the Phoenix metro area's heat headed to the small creeks that flow out of the mountains forming swimming holes and a series of small waterfalls. Farther up the canyon narrows and becomes rockier, its walls steeper.

The flash flood watch is scheduled to expire Monday night at 10 p.m.

"If it's an intense burn, it creates a glaze on the surface that just repels water", said Darren McCollum, a meteorologist. He said visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather. When Nancy tried to find a way out, it got worse.

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Seven people were confirmed dead on Sunday.


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