Eight killed by flash flooding in US

Danny Woods
July 17, 2017

A flash flood at Cold Springs Swimming Hole north of Payson, Arizona has reportedly claimed seven lives with three people still missing.

According to reports, Sgt. David Hornung from the Gila County Sheriff's Department stated that a family composed of 14 members who were spending time near the Cold Springs Swimming Hole were affected by a flash flood Saturday afternoon.

The group had set out chairs to lounge on a warm summer day when miles upstream an intense thunderstorm dumped heavy rainfall on the mountain.

Earlier, Water Wheel fire and medical district fire chief Ron Sattelmaier fire chief said at least four people were dead and about a dozen more missing.

A 13-year-old boy is still missing.

Four other people were rescued and taken to hospitals on Saturday, Hornung said, after the office received an emergency call around 3 p.m.

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The National Weather Service had issued a flash-flood watch for that area, but with no cell service there, they likely would not have heard about it, authorities said.

The popular cooling spot, known as the Ellison Creek or Water Wheel swimming holes, is accessible through several hiking trails. "The flash flood came from above them". Had they been swept downstream, they would have been sent over a 20-foot waterfall, Alexander said.

The victims, he said, were probably caught without warning by the flood. The swimmers had no warning other than a sudden enormous roar as millions of gallons of floodwater combined with mud and rocks cascaded through the popular regional recreation area.

"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.

Elsewhere in the United States, officials are concerned flooding could impact the start of classes next month. He said visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather. When Nancy tried to find a way out, it got worse.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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