9 dead, 1 still missing in Arizona flash flood

Flash Flood Strikes Swimming Hole in Arizona

Authorities say the person who is still missing from a flash flood in central Arizona that killed nine other people wasn't a 13-year-old boy but rather a 27-year-old man.

A group of 14 friends and family were enjoying the cool waters at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole just north of the small town of Payson when a 6-foot wall of water, mud, dead wood and ash swept into the remote area.

The Gila County Sheriff's Office also provided the names of four people who were rescued from the floodwaters Saturday at the Tonto National Forest. The rescued family members were rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated from hypothermia.

The dead include four adults and five children, and authorities believe they are an extended family from Phoenix and Flagstaff. "I don't even know how long it's going to take me to get over it, let alone them".

"When they were finishing that up, they heard people yelling for help, and they went down to the river and found them", Hornung said. The national weather service says monsoon storms are expected into the middle of the week.

Hornung noted that the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning about 1 1/2 hours before, "but unless they had a weather radio out there, they wouldn't have known about it".

Officials described a six foot high wall of water, rushing at 30 miles per hour, following that rapid accumulation of rainwater.

Two others remain missing.

Deputies said they received a 911 call at 3:19 p.m. Saturday about people missing.

Zamora said that although Cold Springs is popular with families, it is surrounded by slick rock and has always seemed somewhat treacherous to her. The victims range in ages between 2 and 60, he said. "It's later that we have our moments", he said.

Flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of Arizona this morning, including Nogales, Rio Rico, and Patagonia, according to the NWS.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix said that most of Arizona was under flash flood watch until Monday evening, warning that "heavy rains can produce flash flooding of low-lying, normally dry areas such as washes".

Hornung said most members of the group were from the Phoenix area, which, along with the rest of southern Arizona, has experienced inordinately hot temperatures this summer.

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