Emergency crews in Arizona have rescued 15 hikers trapped by raging floodwaters and were still working Monday to reach two more who remained stranded, officials said.
“They are on a cliff that is being blocked by the water. No injuries or extraordinary hazards (are) present, we just can’t get to them right now,” said Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Gress in an email early Monday to CNN.
“We have three people above them monitoring their status and giving them water, food, and blankets,” Gress added. “We are waiting for sun to come up to evaluate the water flow to see what the best course is to get them out.”
One of those rescued was a 4-year-old boy, who was airlifted to safety from the Tanque Verde Falls area of Redington Pass in the mountains east of Tucson, Gress said.
Gress said the incident served as a reminder of the danger of flash flooding “especially in areas like Redington Pass and Sabino Canyon.”
“It takes time for the water to flow from the mountain down to the valley, and when it does it can be swift and deadly. All too often, hikers decide to hike just after it rains because the air temperature is cooler, not realizing they are walking into areas which are at an increased risk for flash flooding,” he said.
Flash flooding caused the deaths of nine members of a family in a popular swimming area north of Phoenix earlier this month. That disaster happened near the Cold Springs swimming hole, just north of Payson, in Gila County, Arizona.
In Pennsylvania and New York
Over the weekend a series of intense storms moved from the Midwest to the Northeast, prompting isolated flash flooding in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, forecasters said.
Flooding hit Pennsylvania on Monday, where there were ongoing water rescues in parts of Bradford County, the county sheriff’s office told CNN. Bradford County, in the state’s northeast, borders New York state.
Flash flood watches continued for portions of northeastern Pennsylvania and central New York state throughout Monday.
In Maryland, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office said a tornado was believed to have hit the Bayside community early Monday morning, with calls coming in around 1:30 a.m. ET.
The sheriff’s office said the weather event had caused multiple structures to collapse, gas leaks and that trees and power lines had been downed.
The National Weather Service will need to conduct a survey to confirm that the damage was from a tornado.