Wednesday, 27 May, 2020


GCSO: 3 children missing after flooding in Tonto Basin area

GCSO: 3 children missing after flooding in Tonto Basin area GCSO: 3 children missing after flooding in Tonto Basin area
Bennie Garza | 03 December, 2019, 01:46

Two children are dead and another is still missing after the vehicle they were traveling in was swept away in floodwaters in Arizona's Tonto Basin, the Gila Count Sheriff's Office said Saturday.

Authorities say nine family members were in an oversized military-style truck on Friday when they tried to cross the creek.

One of the adults managed to swim to the shore of Tonto Creek, while the other adult and four of the children were later rescued from an island in the creek, the news outlet reported.

Two of the three missing children in Arizona were found dead on Saturday after their vehicle got stuck in a flooded creek the day before.

The search continues for the third child, authorities said.

"Multiple rescue teams are on scene, and right now, we're actively looking for the children", said Lt. Virgil Dodd, of the Gila County Sheriff's Office. The man and woman were parents to four of the seven children in the auto, according to ABC15, including the third missing child.

The people in the truck didn't live locally, Dodd said, but he didn't know the relationship between the adults and the children.

Volunteers trudged in small groups through the muddy brush to search for the missing girl, who was last seen wearing jeans and a purple jacket.

"We hope we accumulate the final one and bring her to safety", Dodd said.

Meteorologist Sean Benedict in Phoenix estimated that up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain fell in the area, with some of the runoff coming from snow that fell on nearby peaks.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix had warned Friday of flooding in Gila County, urging people to stay alert "even in locations not receiving rain".

"Searchers found the truck about 1,000 yards (around 914 meters) downstream from the crossing Friday night", Dodd said. "Therefore, the grounds were already quite humid and that probably helped with the runoff".

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