Pima Police: 4-year-old girl who was swept away during flash flooding 'did not survive'
PIMA, Ariz. - Officials say a young girl who was swept away during a flash flood Thursday night near an eastern Arizona town did not survive.
Pima Police Department officials made the announcement on the morning of July 26. The Town of Pima is located about 150 miles east of Phoenix.
"Our condolences go to the family," read a portion of the statement.
According to earlier reports from Pima Police, officers responded to reports of a vehicle stuck in the Cottonwood Wash near Pima just before 9:30 p.m. on July 22.
"The female caller advised her and her children were stuck in the wash and on top of their blue suburban at that time," police said in a statement. "The female reported the vehicle was now moving down the wash and herself and the children were on top of the Suburban."
Police were able to rescue some of the family members.
Multiple agencies joined in a search for the girl. The search area was a three-mile stretch along Cottonwood Wash, but mostly focused under and around a bridge just north of Pima.
Seemingly half the community have come out to help, and the search includes a DPS helicopter, search dogs, personal ATVs, and kayaks. Some residents are also wading through knee-deep muddy water, looking under limbs and debris.
Monsoon storm prompted other rescue efforts in New River
The monsoon storm has also caused flooding elsewhere, including in the New River area of Maricopa County. Video sent into the FOX 10 Newsroom shows one vehicle trapped in several feet of water near 7th Street and Cloud, prompting an MCSO helicopter to take part in rescue efforts.
In the Fig Springs area of the New River, at least two people had to be flown out of their flooded home. Officials with MCSO say they were stuck in their mobile home, after they ended up in a wash.
For area residents, the threat of flooding is nothing new.
"Monsoon season, absolutely. Where we live, it's pretty rural out here, and we’re really used to having these downpours, the flash flooding come through, so for our family, we already had an emergency pack. We already had a go plan in place. We already had our animal carriers together. We were able to evacuate in three minutes from our home,: said Jacqulyn Currey.
(Jon Johnson/Gila Herald)
More monsoon coverage
- FD: Lightning strikes Phoenix home, sparks attic fire
- Flash Flood Watch in effect for 12 Arizona counties; monsoon storms flood the Valley
- Multiple warnings, advisories issued by National Weather Service as monsoon weather returns to the Valley
- Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
Rain/flood safety tips
The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:
- Turnaround don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
- If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
- If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
- Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
- If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.
Preparing for a severe thunderstorm
The American Red Cross' tips for preparing for a severe thunderstorm:
- Put together an emergency kit.
- Know your community’s evacuation plan.
- Create a household disaster plan and practice it.
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Discuss thunderstorm safety with members of your household. Be aware that a thunderstorm could produce flooding.
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights, or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.
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