Seven people are dead and three others missing after flash flooding swept away a family at a swimming hole in central Arizona, police say.
Fourteen family members were near the Cold Springs Swimming Hole on Saturday afternoon when heavy rains caused flash floods, said Sgt. David Hornung with the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.
Four family members were rescued Saturday afternoon, said Hornung. Their conditions were unknown Sunday, CNN affiliate KNXV reported.
At least two of the dead were children, said Hornung. KNXV reported the ages of the victims ranged from 2 years old to the late 60s.
Cold Springs is just north of Payson in Gila County, and about 90 miles north of Phoenix.
Flooding left behind path of destruction
KNXV in Phoenix tweeted a photo showing the conditions in the area.
The photo showed the grim aftermath of Saturday’s flooding, which left behind an avalanche of mud and rock that flowed into the swimming hole.
A search and rescue mission was underway for the missing family members. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger Helicopter, Whispering Pines Fire Department and US Forest Service participated in the effort.
Trent Shue, a member of the volunteer group Tondo Recreation Alliance, told CNN he and a group of friends were about three miles from the watering hole when the storm hit.
A video recorded by Shue shows a strong stream of water carrying heavy logs and wiping out trees in its path.
Flash flood warning
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for much of Arizona, including the greater Phoenix area, through Monday evening. Monsoon storms are expected into the middle of the week.
ABC 15 tweeted a viewer’s photo in the Sun City area, which showed several cars moving through a flooded street.