At least eight people were killed and two were still missing on Sunday (July 16) after flash flooding interrupted a family gathering in central Arizona over the weekend. He referred to the gathering as a "family group", though he said some members of the party were not related.
A severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Phoenix, Glendale, Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye, El Mirage, Paradise Vally, Tolleson, Youngtown, Waddell, Laveen, Cusion, Sun City and Litchfield Park expired at 10:45 p.m.
A hiker named Disa Alexander revealed in an interview that she was hiking near the swimming hole within the Ellison Creek and East Verde River areas when the water suddenly flowed.
GCSO received a 9-1-1 call regarding a search and rescue operation around the swimming hole.
Around 40 people from a search and rescue team and a state Department of Public Safety helicopter were involved in the search for survivors Sunday, Hornung said.
The flooding happened during storm season.
Officials said three bodies were recovered Saturday and six others were found Sunday. The rescued family members were rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated from hypothermia.
Two children are among the dead, the youngest only two years old.
The National Weather Service had issued a warning of #Flash Floods but no one had expected it to strike the way it did.
A map of the area shows a bend in the canyon just before the Water Wheel Campground, potentially hiding the wall of water until it was too late to react. "It's later that we have our moments", he said.