2 dead, others rescued in several different water incidents in the Phoenix area
MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. - First responders in the Valley have been busy rescuing people from rushing floodwaters. In some cases, victims haven't survived.
These flooded roads, rivers and other bodies of water, are a result of the wet winter in Arizona, including the Phoenix area, that nearly overflowed water reservoirs, causing the intentional release of water. The water-filled roads, basins and riverbeds haven't seen this amount of water in some time as the state has been in a severe drought.
We've learned residents came out of their homes to see the flooding and swelling of rivers.
"I saw it on the news and I wanted to see it for myself."
"It hasn’t happened … I haven’t seen it like this in 10 years."
"We saw the flood, and we were skipping rocks … it was fun!"
"I love it, the smell of it, and it reminds me where I'm from in Fort Worth, Texas, because it rains and floods a lot there."
A man trying to cross a flooded road was carried away by rushing water but luckily was rescued Friday night in Maricopa County.
The rescue happened near 123rd and Southern avenues near Avondale on March 17.
FOX 10 viewer, Jerrod Willingham, sent in footage of the man before he attempted to cross the roadway and was swept away. He says he called 911 and stopped recording to help the man as much as he could.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says this man was rescued and is OK.
Phoenix water rescue
At 91st and Southern avenues, Phoenix Fire Capt. Todd Keller says crews responded to reports of two adults stuck on top of a car in a wash around 6:45 p.m. on March 17.
Crews from Phoenix, Buckeye, Tolleson and Gila River responded.
"At that point they made the decision to use a hoist operation, called a cinch collar, fly these patents off by lowering the (aircraft rescue technician) and bringing them to safety …" Keller said.
The people are OK.
Keller says the people reported they were OK, but just weren't able to get out because the rushing waters – and that's what first responders recommend if you find yourself in this situation. He says do not try to brave powerful waters.
The fire captain reiterates ADOT's slogan of "turn around, don't drown" when it comes to flooded roads.
"As little as 12 inches of water can carry your car away," Keller said.
Water rescue at 91st and Southern avenues in Phoenix
Over in Peoria, the fire department says a man became stranded on a sandbar in Skunk Creek near Thunderbird Road and 91st Avenue Friday night.
"… technical rescue crews performed a shallow water crossing and evacuated him to safety. Crews are transporting the patient to an ER via ambulance for a foot injury. There were no other reported injuries," the Peoria Fire Department said.
Body found floating
Less than a day after the last three rescues, MCSO says a body was found floating in the water near the backside of a Phoenix International Raceway near Avondale Boulevard and Jimmie Johnson Drive on March 18.
Circumstances leading to this person's death haven't been detailed. The victim's identity hasn't been released.
The Gila River flows through this area.
Kayaker dies on the Salt River
Just before noon on March 18, MCSO responded to the Pebble Beach area of the Salt River for reports of a drowning.
"We received a 911 call about an adult male Kayaker that had fallen off his kayak and had not resurfaced. The kayaker was pulled out of the water by other kayakers who began administering first aid. Lake Patrol Deputies arrived on scene and took over first aid, however the kayaker was later pronounced deceased on scene by medical personnel," says MCSO Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez.
The victim is an 81-year-old man. His name hasn't been released.