Arizona flash flood: Deadly deluge hits Payson swimmers


At least nine people were found dead and about a dozen more were missing after flash flooding struck a popular swimming area inside the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona.

More than 100 people were relaxing at Cold Springs Swimming Hole in Tonto National Forest when they were hit by a flash flood yesterday.

Four bodies have been recovered after a popular swimming hole in Arizona was suddenly engulfed by flash flooding, with a child among the dead.

Officials were able to pull four people from the water on Saturday, but authorities are still looking for a 26-year-old male after suspending search and rescue efforts late Sunday night due to treacherous conditions, Hornung said.

He added that three others - adults and kids - remain missing.The victims range in ages between 2 and 60, he said.

At least four people were rescued and airlifted to a hospital, police said.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix says that most of Arizona is under flash flood watch until Monday evening.

The state's low-lying roads and dry rivers and creek beds are particularly vulnerable to sudden downpours, with vegetation too sparse to slow the water's sudden onset.

"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 man's wife clung on to branches nearby.

The "burn scar" was one of the reasons the weather service issued the flash-flood warning.

A flash flood warning was issued for the Phoenix area until 1:30 a.m. He said visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather. Farther up the canyon narrows and becomes rockier, its walls steeper.

Frightful news is coming out of central Arizona, as it's being reported that several people have died from severe flash flooding.

"If it's an intense burn, it creates a glaze on the surface that just repels water", said Darren McCollum, a meteorologist.

Elsewhere in the U.S., officials are concerned flooding could impact the start of classes next month.