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Mon Jul 17, 2017, 09:35 AM

Arizona flash flood sweeps away family relaxing in swimming hole, killing 9

Source: Washington Post

It began as yet another scorching Saturday in central Arizona as scores of families flocked to the cool waters of a popular swimming hole, seeking relief from the 100-degree temperatures in the cities.

Among them was an extended family of 14 from Phoenix. They gathered at the Cold Springs swimming hole in the Tonto National Forest, near Payson, to celebrate Maria Raya’s 26th birthday, their relatives told local media.

At about 3 p.m., it was barely drizzling as the Raya family and others waded in the water and hiked along the narrow canyon, its scenic waterfall and granite rock formations in the backdrop.

Suddenly the adults and children swimming in the canyon heard a roar. As they turned to look upstream, they saw a massive wall of dark muddy water rushing toward them, carrying tree trunks and logs the sizes of vehicles, Ron Sattelmaier, Water Wheel Fire and Medical District fire chief, told The Washington Post, citing interviews with witnesses.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/07/17/az-flash-flood-sweeps-away-family-relaxing-in-swimming-hole-9-perish/?utm_term=.307bc2bb4ed9





I have no words.

5 replies, 1552 views

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Reply Arizona flash flood sweeps away family relaxing in swimming hole, killing 9 (Original post)
Coventina Monday OP
Girard442 Monday #1
haele Monday #4
IronLionZion Monday #2
not fooled Monday #3
Sunlei Monday #5

Response to Coventina (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 10:08 AM

1. Please, please keep an eye on weather reports...

...when near a stream in a rugged area. Also, check out the topography there too and realize that those picturesque rocks were probably not carved into those shapes by trickles of water.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 11:32 AM

4. A cloudburst or thunderstorm 50 - 75 miles away can cause a flash flood hours later.

Especially in mountains/mesa-canyon terrains. You might not even be able to see the clouds on the horizon.
One should have both a terrain map and keep an ear on the weather reports for activity in areas that feed the place you're visiting - or at least make an attempt to find out from NOAA, the local forestry service/local officials before heading out. NOAA should have flash flood warnings.

It's a lot for a casual vacationer to consider, not to mention the average casual local.

Haele

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 10:09 AM

2. It sounds like an insane day

from the article it said that area had experienced drought and wildfires recently which reduced the ability of the land to soak up rain water.

It was hailing so some of the family waited it out before heading to the watering hole. And it sounded like there was just very light sprinkling rain that would not indicate any chance of a flood.

Damn, it sounds like a case of very bad luck.

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 11:11 AM

3. When reading stories like this

I always wonder whether the National Forest--in this case--is understaffed because of budget cuts, and whether previously there would have been perhaps warnings posted on roads leading to sites under threat of natural catastrophes.

Not saying that this was the case, just that it's a possibility.



And, condolences to the family. What an awful thing to have happen.

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 03:17 PM

5. I saw the video, my God those flash floods are terrifying! The Tonto National Forrest needs SIRENS.

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