More than 100 people were thought to have been at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole in Tonto National Forest when the flood struck on Saturday afternoon.
Two of the seven people found dead were children.
Police are still searching for a 27-year-old man after Sunday’s flash flooding at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole. Crews recovered a body of a 2-year-old Sunday afternoon.
They have not been named by authorities. Four people were rescued on Saturday and those injured have since been released from the hospital, Hornung said.
Ellison Creek flooded the narrow canyon where the family members were swimming.
The flash flood watch is scheduled to expire Monday night at 10 p.m. Had they been swept farther downstream, they would have been sent over a 20-foot waterfall, Alexander said. Storms are expected into the middle of the week. The swimmers had no warning other than a sudden enormous roar as millions of gallons of floodwater combined with mud and rocks cascaded through the popular regional recreation area.
“I wish there was a way from keeping people from getting in there during monsoon season”, Sattelmaier said. The group – comprised of hikers in their 40s and 50s – had set out on their trek hours before a flash flood warning prompted park officials to close the canyons.
“It was just a panic moment after we see the water coming down”, she said.
“If it’s an intense burn, it creates a glaze on the surface that just repels water”, said Darren McCollum, a meteorologist.
They didn’t hear the tragic news of the fatalities, until they got back to safety. He said visitors are reminded to be vigilant about the weather. They likely had no way of knowing a thunderstorm was touching off a flood upstream.