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Flash Flood Claims Lives After Warning

Flash Flood Claims Lives After Warning
July 17
15:24 2017

Prior to the deadly flash flood that claimed nine lives in Central Arizona Saturday; the National Weather service had issued the following warning by way of the Wireless Emergency Alert System:

“At 142 PM MST, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Highline Fire scar. Flash flooding within the scar and downstream is expected to begin shortly. Some locations that will experience flooding include…Whispering Pines, Bonita Creek Estates, Ellison Creek Estates, La Cienega Estates, Pyle Ranch… Move to higher ground now. Act quickly to protect your life.”

It is not known if the victims had been made aware of the warning. In addition, there are reports that cell phone service is spotty in that area of Gila County.

County officials say a burn scar from a June fire added to the danger when the heavy rains hit.

The resulting flash flood swept fourteen people away in the water. Four of them were rescued by helicopters, nine died and one body was still missing at last report. The water was said to be quite deep and filled with debris.

The people swept away were participating in a birthday party at the Cold Springs swimming hole, near to the Water Wheel Campground. The gathering was for a woman who would have turned 26 on Sunday.

 

Featured Photo is NOT from Saturday’s tragedy

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