Arizona floods: What we know so far

Eight people are dead and two others remain missing, following flash flooding in Arizona over the weekend. Here’s what we know so far about the incident and the victims. 

What happened? 

A 911 call came into deputies Saturday afternoon concerning a search and rescue operation near the Cold Springs swimming hole north of Payson, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook Saturday. The swimming hole is in the Tonto National Forest.  

“In central Arizona, it’s the monsoon season, and thunderstorms and heavy rains can develop very quickly,” sheriff’s office spokesman David Hornung explained to Fox News. He said there was a “large cell” which struck where there had earlier been a wildfire approximately one month earlier. 


What do we know about the victims? 

“The heavy rain flooded the creek, and this large family unit was down by the river and had practically no warning that this flash flood was coming down the river,” Hornung said. Fourteen people were swept away.

Of the eight victims, two of them are children, Fox 10 reported. 

What is going on now? 

Crews are “trying to search the area below where the incident happened,” according to Hornung.

“The family members have been here all day,” he said. “When we arrived at six o’clock this morning, they had already been down walking along the river looking for their loved ones.” 

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